I am very pleased to announce the formation of the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC, www.nahac.com), the organization, as it says on the web page, “dedicated to improving the consumer healthcare experience.” Why NAHAC and why now?
Consumers continue to be overwhelmed by healthcare. Decisions about treatments, choosing and understanding specialists, coordinating care, addressing billing and insurance issues–all of these areas can be overwhelming to someone in the middle of a complex medical situation. While many people are alert to the difficulties that seniors encounter in navigating the healthcare system, people who have very ill babies and children, young adults with new diagnoses of diseases or people of all ages facing surgery or treatment decisions need people to help them navigate through.
But who is doing healthcare advocacy and what are their skills? What are the “best practices” for the profession? how can consumers find someone near where they live? These are the questions a National Association can begin addressing.
Who can join? Everyone with an interest in healthcare advocacy: medical professionals, consumers, academicians, policy makers. But the data base of members is open to the public, who can search without charge for an advocate in their geographic area and read about their particular qualifications to help them decide if the advocate is a good match for what they need. There is only one credentialing program right now in the U.S, and that is run by Healthcare Liaison and is for medical professionals. Will there be one for consumers? What are the skills a heatlhcare advocate needs to have? What about licensing? Join the Association and join the dialogue!
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