Saturday, June 08, 2013

Patient Advocates: Demand payment!

Dale Ann Micalizzi, @JustinHOPE, Founder/Director/Health Educator at Justin's HOPE, posted the following note on Facebook:

Something needs to be said regarding pro bono work in healthcare: Please consider offering patient/family members a stipend or donation to their foundation when government or hospital organizations are asking for their assistance on multiple projects. I have 10 meetings next week and only one offered a donation for our scholarships. We will do this for free but most of us have a mission that we're working toward that depends on support. Most of us did not receive any compensation from the harm caused and have started improvement projects from scratch. Thank you. 

I responded:
You, and others, are being too generous. You and other notable patient advocates are now viewed as "trophies" when you are invited to help in this manner. It is perfectly reasonable to start to ration your time--at least in part--by insisting that hospitals, associations, and other institutions make contributions to your patient safety/education organizations. Trust me, those hospitals and other places always have money to pay for consultants--and you offer greater value than lots of those consultants!


Tanya Lord said...

From Facebook:

I agree. There is money to pay for the important work that patients are doing to improve healthcare and certainly donations to foundations or organizations would be the right thing to do.

Doug Wojcieszak said...

From Facebook:

I agree. You are a professional person doing very important work that is not only saving lives and improving healthcare, but also improving the bottom line of these organizations. Simply ask for a donation or fee upfront -- they have money in the budget.

Finally, I believe organizations and people value and are more likely to use things they pay for. It's that old lesson our parents taught us....what kind of car are you more likely to value and take care? One you were given, or a car you paid for with your hard-earned money?

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear. And, you can be absolutely certain that no one will volunteer payment; you must ask. Or, even better, state firmly.

nonlocal MD

e-Patient Dave said...

At a PFCC meeting last month in Long Beach, one patient advisor panelist told another one, "Don't call it volunteering - say you're going it pro bono." Bloggage ensued promptly!

Paul Levy said...

Well done!