Posts Tagged AdvoConnection

Your Comments – Loud, Clear, and Acted Upon

There simply are not enough hours in the day.

When the “good idea” part of your brain goes into overdrive, and the clock can’t keep up with it, then you’re left with the same 24 everyone else has – with more stuff to do, stuff that takes longer because it’s new.

Such has been my life since launching my patient empowerment and advocacy work in 2005!

All this to explain why I seem to have disappeared from the patient empowerment world – even though what I’ve really been doing is trying to improve the possibility that a patient can get better care – just in a different way.

That different way is through the world of independent patient advocates, based on an acknowledgement made a number of years ago which may ring true to you, too.

From 2005 to 2012, I used to speak to large groups of patients. I would speak on many different topics that related to being a smart patient, like how to make a list of questions for your doctor, or how to find credible information on the internet.  At the time I was also writing for – which kicked me to the curb in 2014 (I still don’t know why!).  I met some really remarkable and wonderful people – who were getting the shaft from the healthcare system and just needed some good advice.

Over and over again, I heard the same comments.  “I know what you’re talking about is right. I need to ask better questions. I need to look up credible information online. I need to shop for better prices for my drugs. I need to vet new doctors to see if they are any good”… etc etc.  And then…

But I feel so lousy!  I’m so sick! I’m too tired! I just don’t have the wherewithal
to do this myself! I need help!

And so THAT is what I have been working on… finding help, and matching the help with those of you who are needing it.

And now – I’m back to blogging and writing again too!  Thus the point of this post.

Here’s where you can find the help you need:

And here’s where you can find my ideas and writing, specifically to help the patients who need it, providing help because – yes – I heard you loud and clear.  Find me at the AdvoConnection Blog.

Thanks for your patience over these many years!  I’ll continue to bring you the best I can, hoping it will translate to better care for you.

Posted in: AdvoConnection, Follow the Money, Health /Medical Consumerism, Healthcare Quality, Patient Advocacy, Patient Empowerment, Patient Tools

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O! Fun to be Found in O Magazine

In the five years I’ve been working on patient empowerment and patient advocacy, I’ve been thrilled to have been quoted in the likes of the Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, Forbes, Fox, NPR, PBS and others…

But now I know I have arrived — because O Magazine came calling!  Sure enough — an article called Someone on Your Side — it’s about hiring a patient advocate to help you through a medical problem. Because I am the founder of AdvoConnection and work extensively with private patient advocates, I am one of the people quoted in the article.

I join three of my distinguished (and very talented!) colleagues.  Hari Khalsa is the Health Whisperer.  One of her patient-clients who was being treated for thyroid cancer just could not get her doctors to coordinate her care.  Hari stepped in to make sure the care was coordinated and Tracy, the patient, got what she needed.

Gail Gazelle is cited in the article, too.  Gail owns a private advocacy business called MDCanHelp.  Gail points out that too often doctors just don’t have the time to devote to care coordination as they should.  Private patient advocates step in to fill the gap.

And Ken Schueler, who has been coordinating care for cancer patients for many years, is quoted, too.  Ken provides some advice for finding good health information online about diseases, clinical trials and more.

The most important information for you?  When you read the article, you’ll realize how important it is you find an advocate to help you.  Although the Patient Advocate Foundation might work for you if you can’t afford an advocate (they handle insurance and  claims issues) — if you need care coordination and help with your medical decisions, then you must give serious consideration to hiring a private patient advocate.

So how do you find these people?  Simple:  a directory of advocates who have been reviewed for their expertise, and work closely with patients like you everyday:

Private patient advocates provide you with improved health outcomes AND peace of mind.

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Posted in: AdvoConnection, Health /Medical Consumerism, Healthcare Quality, Patient Advocacy, Patient Empowerment

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AdvoConnection Gets Ready to Launch – Outreach to Patients

Update on this post:  AdvoConnection is launched!  Patients are being helped, and patient advocates are ready to help you.  Learn more at:


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. — 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 — 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:

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Posted in: Health /Medical Consumerism, Healthcare Quality, Medical Errors / Mistakes / Misdiagnosis, Patient Advocacy, Patient Empowerment, Patient Safety, Patient Tools, Self Help

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From the desk of (10/20/07)….

In the midst of this week’s craziness (WAY too much on my plate at the moment!) I have afromthedeskof.gif few miscellaneous, but no less important, points and thoughts to share. I don’t want them to get lost, so I’ll just put them all here…. a potpourri of information. This may become a Saturday or weekend habit. Seems like a good idea!


My friend and colleague Linda Lowen has become the guide for Women’s Issues. Her new guide site launched about one week ago. Of course, women’s issues are people issues, and health care consumerism and patient safety are people issues, too.

If you have interest in a variety of women’s topics, many of which you may not have considered, some of which you’ll want to cheer, and more than a few that might make you go “hmmmm,” then check out — better yet, BOOKMARK — Linda’s new guide site at I promise you you’ll be fascinated.


I’m leaving Monday for Sarasota, FL — visiting parents (Happy Birthday Mom!) and teaching three patient empowerment workshops while I’m there. If you’re anywhere near Sarasota and want to come by — the more the merrier! I promise you real tools that can help you. Contact Adult and Community Education for the Sarasota School District.

I do love getting out and speaking to groups — patients and providers. If you have need for a speaker, I keep a speaker resume online. Check it out.


Speaking of workshops, I spent Thursday evening teaching my “Diagnosis Detective” workshop. GREAT group of people — very participative. On the way out, one of them reminded me of a saying I have heard before: What do you call a doctor who graduated at the bottom of his class? (The answer: “Doctor”) ouch.


Some of you know I have a “looking for” section to this blog. I get contacted by a variety of people, mostly journalists and producers, looking to make contact with patients to help tell their stories. One posting this week has not been too fruitful, so I’m going to mention it here. If you are anywhere in Central New York State (upstate, not the city!) and are an angry patient who wants to participate in a documentary, the producers would like to talk to you. Learn more on the Looking For…. page.


A handful of people have asked me about the launch of AdvoConnection. It has been delayed (yes, I really do need to update that blog, too). You’ll know why in just a few weeks — a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! that I can share with you then. I hope.


Tune in again next week for “From the desk of….” ! (OK. well. maybe.)

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Posted in: Patient Advocacy, Patient Empowerment, Patient Safety, Patient Tools, Self Help

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