Sunday, December 9, 2012

PPAI 2nd Annual Conference

Professional Patient Advocate Institute

I just spent two days in Orlando at the second annual Professional Patient Advocate InstituteConference.  Day one consisted of a certificate program.  The training covered legal issues, hospital visits, billing and reimbursements, direct services, a business plan, marketing and family support.
You wouldn’t go to court without a lawyer someone said, so why enter the healthcare system without an advocate?
According to the PPAI, some facts to justify the need for a patient advocate; 52 million caregivers provide care to adults ages 18 and up with a disability or illness.   26% of employed adult children take care of a family member and the annual loss to American businesses due to caring for aging parents is $3 trillion.
Presently we are in the early stages of professional patient advocacy services.  This service is not regulated so we are in a unique position to begin preparing for what an advocate needs to do and how they could / should be helping a patient.  Whether it is billing or reimbursement, medication management or doctors visits, at the bedside in the hospital or understanding a care plan, patient advocates can play an important role in the future of healthcare. 
Many nurses are becoming advocates because the time spent at the bedside in nursing is diminishing and nursing no longer allows enough time for patient interaction.
The cost for an advocate can vary from a very high daily rate or a retainer to an hourly rate decided by predicting the needed services.
Another way to encourage advocacy is the way PULSE of NY teaches the family and friend of the patient.  This community based teaching is called Family Centered Patient Advocacy Services.  It focuses on the families need to participate.  This way, there is no charge and the people who know the patient best, want to help and be part of the support system are there for the patient with the needed tools learned at one of the half day workshops.
Day two at the conference focused on guest presenters starting with Trisha Torrey as the keynote.  Trisha started Every Patients Advocate a number of years ago following her own unfortunate experience using the healthcare system. 
Lisa Freeman, the PULSE ofNY contest winner attended her first contest with the professional scholarship of $500.00.  Lisa took a Family CenteredPatient Advocacy Training on February 7, 2012 which made her eligible to apply for the scholarship.
Consider becoming a family centered patient advocate and learn about patient safety.  The charge to take this program is minimal and the lessons will last a lifetime.
Register here for the January 12, 2013 training.  Family Centered Patient Advocate Training Registration.  

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