An Open Letter to an Advocate Who Questions Her APHA Membership
Received last week from Esther (not her real name):
If you would please clarify a few things I’d really appreciate it.It’s time for my PACE membership to renew and I am trying to decide whether to spend that money.
I want to have my name listed in your directory in the future, but your Premium membership is quite out of my budget. . Do you not offer beginner discounts?
Secondly, I currently am an unemployed family caregiver and have no income. A basic renewal at $49, which is more in my budget, is only for 6 months time, why not a full year? And it really lacks access to the meat and potatoes of your site which would most benefit me starting out in this line of service.
So as you may have gathered, I’m at a crossroads for renewing at this point in time. I’m trying to understand the real value in APHA membership for me. Perhaps you have other financial options for people in my situation?
I do look forward to hearing from you.
My reply to Esther:
You are not the first person to ask me about discounting the price of membership. In fact, I have been asked that for years. Because I want you to understand the answer thoroughly, I will simply direct you to a post that includes the answer and its reasons.
You asked about a “beginner membership” – that is exactly what the PACE membership is, at less than half the cost of the “regular” membership which is the Premium. PACE stands for Patient Advocate Career Exploration. It’s for people who want to learn more about the profession, but aren’t yet committed to it. Once committed, the right membership is the Premium, and that opens the door to all the benefits we make available.
You asked about the “real value?” and my answer is this: it has taken us a great deal of time, and some major expense to develop the resources we offer to advocates.
You asked specifically about the “meat and potatoes” – one serving of which is probably the legal contracts we offer. I’ll ask you, how would you get legal contracts on your own? Your only choice would be to find a lawyer to draw one up (believe me, online legal sites don’t offer anything usable to you) – your cost would be $1000 or more. That makes our pricing look quite fair, I believe.
Of course, you also need liability (errors & omissions) insurance. There are only about 8 companies in the US that offer it, and it could take you days to figure out what companies they are. We have a list of them, along with their contact person and information. Their average cost, BTW, is about $1500 per year. For that you get nothing at all unless you run into a problem. Since we’ve done all that legwork for you, once again, you can see how fair our pricing is.
Also of interest should be the ability of APHA members to take courses for free at PracticeUP! PACE members can save hundreds of dollars. Premium members even more. Just those benefits alone make both memberships more valuable than their cost.
Finally, to me, the best value proposition we offer is your access, day and night, to other advocates who have walked in your shoes, who have already solved the problems you might run into, and who will happily answer questions or provide solutions to you through the Connect Discussion Forum. Priceless.
When all these benefits are added to the hundreds of podcasts, webcasts, and articles also available, we believe our pricing is more than fair.
I dispute your assertion that our pricing is high. In fact, we are told over and over again how reasonable it is for the value we offer. In your position, I understand why you thought it was high when viewed through your personal lens, but now that you understand the value better, I hope you’ll agree that it’s not.
Here is a link to help you see and compare all our memberships and their benefits. You’ll see the list is very long.
Whether or not you decide to renew is absolutely up to you, of course. We are here to support you in whatever ways we can if you decide to move forward.
Executive Director and Founder
The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates
I’ve published this exchange in hopes many of you find value you didn’t realize was offered through your APHA membership.
And – with a question… what else of value could we provide to you?
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