Quick! Pre-Paid Access to a Health Advocate

You know the problem: clients contact you at the point they are desperate, or almost desperate. They’ve received a massive hospital bill – or worse – they received one months ago and haven’t begun to deal with it yet. OR, adult son lives on the west coast, elderly mom lives on the east coast… she has just fallen, is hospitalized, and son is lost, having no idea what to do next.

(Fill in your own desperation story here: ___________________)

These folks often find AdvoConnection.com and do a search for a patient advocate. Yet, despite their desperation, a recent informal survey of AdvoConnection’s website visitors tells us that about 40% of those who visit the site aren’t taking the next step. They are not placing the phone call or sending the email needed to begin a discussion with an advocate or navigator who can help them.

There is one reason they provide overwhelmingly for not making contact:

They don’t know what it will cost to hire someone to help.

We note in several places on the AdvoConnection website that advocacy services are private pay, but no where do we say how much that might be. We can’t! Because every clients’ needs, and every advocates’ charges are different. But, of course, that leaves a huge question mark – the elephant on the computer monitor. Some site visitors just can’t get past the fear that they’ll have to tell an advocate they can’t afford his/her services. So they don’t reach out.

Now let’s switch points-of-view:

An informal survey of advocates (that’s you!) tells us that the majority of private advocates really hate having to approach the money and cost part of their conversation with a potential client. Many of you will spend an hour on the phone, maybe even answering the questions a potential client has, hanging up the phone, frustrated that you weren’t hired to do the advocacy work. If only there was an easier way to get someone to actually write you a check without having to talk about it!

So let’s see… advocates don’t want to talk about money. Potential clients are afraid to ask about money…. we needed a solution…

And we think we’ve found it.

Enter the new AdvoConnection Quick Access program – rolled out last week to Premium members. It works like this: potential clients do their search at AdvoConnection.com to determine who they want to help them. If that person is a Quick Access subscriber, then the potential client will find the Quick Access logo on the advocate’s listing – and can click directly to that client’s Quick Access page. From there they learn what it will cost to book an hour’s worth of the advocate’s time (determined by each advocate) or how much it will cost to answer a question through email….

No discussion needs to take place – the client knows the cost. No embarrassing “I’m sorry – I can’t afford it.” No embarrassing “Let’s talk about money.”

If you are a Premium member of AdvoConnection, you should have received sign up instructions last week (if not, please let me know!) If you are a PACE or Directory Only member, you may want to upgrade your membership so you can participate, too.

And if you’re not a member at all… well…. why not join us? Take some of the pain out of asking for money, and put potential clients at ease, too.

> Learn more about AdvoConnection’s Quick Access Program here.

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APHA Blog : The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates
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