Update on this post: AdvoConnection is launched! Patients are being helped, and patient advocates are ready to help you. Learn more at: www.AdvoConnection.com.
Hard at work we’ve been! And AdvoConnection, a dream of mine for several years, is getting ready to launch.
Since beginning my advocacy work almost five years ago, and being highly visible on the web, I hear from desperate patients on an almost daily basis:
- They cannot get an accurate diagnosis, know they need treatment, and need someone to help them find the doctors, or get the tests, that can help them.
- They are seeing too many specialists who aren’t coordinating their care. They need someone who will take a look at their reams of medical records to help them sort out their treatment.
- They are having trouble with their insurer, who isn’t paying as promised, or who is denying them care.
- They have received doctor or hospital bills that they can’t sort out or decipher. Or they believe they have been billed for services they did not receive. They’ve read that up to 80% of hospital bills are incorrect, and they want someone to help them negotiate with whomever has billed them.
- I hear frequently from adult children of elderly parents, perhaps living in a different location, who need assistance for their parents, either to help them find a nursing home, or for eldercare or home health care.
- The biggest heartbreakers are the parents who have run into brick walls trying to help their children. Or the left-behind person who lost a loved one to a medical error. They need to know who to turn to — an advocate? a lawyer? to get the support they need.
Now you can see why I wanted to develop AdvoConnection. It is a service for matching patients to the help they need in the form of patient advocates, patient navigators, billing assistance and other forms of medical system assistance that will help them navigate the waters of our dysfunctional health care system.
There are two aspects to this new site and service:
AdvoConnection for Patients — www. AdvoConnection.com — will launch October 1. Patients will be able to search for an advocate or navigator by location and service provided — at no cost to them. They will have the information they need to contact that advocate to inquire more about their services. It’s a directory type service that will help patients and caregivers find the help they need.
Any patient or caregiver who thinks s/he might need patient advocacy assistance can be added to the email list to be alerted when the site goes live (or, if you read this after October 1, 2009, go directly to the site itself.)
AdvoConnection for Advocates — http://members.AdvoConnection.com — provides advocates and navigators will the interface to be a part of the directory for patients described above. It also provides additional business services such as marketing assistance, and a forum for connecting with other advocates. By early 2010, it will also provide them with access to an ask-a-doctor service, and other services they may seek to help them grow their advocacy businesses.
Any patient advocate interested in participating with AdvoConnection may apply for membership through that site: http://members.AdvoConnection.com
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