Trisha Torrey

Trisha Torrey is the founder and executive director of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates. Find her resume here.

Is a Patient Advocate or Navigator a Qualified Medical Expense for Patients?

In the process of writing about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) I began looking at what constituted a “qualified medical expense,” which is the list of the products and services the IRS lets us pay for tax-free. They are those expenses that we can either claim on our taxes, or pay for through the use of an HSA, MSA or FSA. (What would the IRS ever do without acronyms> But I digress…) After looking at the list of expenses, I began to wonder whether a patient / taxpayer who hires and pays for a health or …

Is a Patient Advocate or Navigator a Qualified Medical Expense for Patients? Continue Reading

Why Can’t Patients Be Their Own Advocates?

Imagine? you suffer chest pains and are swept off to the ER. The pain meds leave you too groggy to make good decisions. Who will help you? Or? difficult symptoms result in a diagnosis that leaves you stunned. You leave the doctor’s office remembering very little of what you?ve been told. Now you aren’t even sure what to do next. Or? you?ve begun to find it confusing to keep track of all your medications. You’re concerned you’ll make a mistake. Which ones are you supposed to take with food> Or on an empty stomach> What about having that glass of …

Why Can’t Patients Be Their Own Advocates? Continue Reading

Dear Nurses, We Are Here to Help

For the second time in just a few days, I’ve learned from an AdvoConnection advocate member that a nurse has become defensive and territorial in reaction to his choice of career. Now, please know that I’m not dogging on all nurses. Not all all. Instead I’m looking at this as an opportunity to clarify – for everyone’s benefit, not just nurses’. Last week I answered the question, “Does a patient advocate have to be a nurse?”? The question came in response to an experience where nurses had actually looked down their noses at another advocate, a non-nurse, suggesting she did …

Dear Nurses, We Are Here to Help Continue Reading

Do I Have to Be a Nurse to Be a Patient Advocate?

The answer is simple. No. So why do I ask this question> Earlier this month, while attending the NAHAC Conference, the question was asked by a number of people. As if the qualification to be an effective patient advocate relied on a nursing education. Now please don’t get me wrong. I am a huge supporter of nurses and nursing, in its many important forms. I’ve written many times at About.com about nurses, nurse practitioners, and why I believe training as a nurse is far more patient-centered than other forms of medical training. Most of my commentary comes from my appreciation …

Do I Have to Be a Nurse to Be a Patient Advocate? Continue Reading

Read About AdvoConnection Patient Advocates in O Magazine!

AdvoConnection’s advocates were thrilled to have been included in an article called Someone on Your Side (A new prescription for navigating the medical maze) in the August 2010 issue of O Magazine. The article begins with a patient story. Tracy Cloninger figured out what so many patients do — that the healthcare system just isn’t paying enough attention. When her endocrinologist failed to schedule her radiation treatments for her thyroid cancer, Tracy hired Hari Khalsa, the Health Whisperer (patient advocate located in Massachusetts.) Gail Gazelle, MD, from MD Can Help was quoted extensively in the article as well. Gail pointed …

Read About AdvoConnection Patient Advocates in O Magazine! Continue Reading

What Does a Patient Advocate Do?

That’s a good question — what does a patient advocate do? And there are a handful of answers, depending on the kind of help you need. Some advocates help you with insurance claims, or review your hospital bills, then negotiate those that are wrong. Others might sit with you at home while you convalesce, or help you understand a difficult diagnosis and an extended list of treatment options. In fact, there’s a long list of services patients or health advocates might provide. Most of these are simple to understand, because this kind of help has actually been around for awhile. …

What Does a Patient Advocate Do? Continue Reading

AdvoConnection Blog Launch

As Every Patient’s Advocate, the most frequent request I hear is to try to make a connection between a patient, or the loved one of a patient, and someone who can help navigate medical care on behalf of that patient. Here is a list of the kinds of services they request: Preparation for the doctor’s appointment Accompaniment to doctor’s appointments, tests and procedures Medical research to learn more about diagnoses and treatment options Translating medical language (medspeak) Navigating HIPAA laws and privacy matters Insurance choices, filings, negotiations Elder care / geriatric care Home health services Organization / administration / paperwork …

AdvoConnection Blog Launch Continue Reading

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! Scroll to Top

Join us in January for
100 Days to Launch Your Practice!
Save money - Early Registration - Ends Soon!