Legislating Healthcare:

Ensuring Patient Access in the Trump Administration

Ensuring Patient Access in the Trump Administration

During times of legislative changes, patients are often left to wonder how they and their care will be impacted. Advocacy experts must take this opportunity to guide patients through a transitional period while ensuring that levels of care are not diminished.

Recently, U.S. healthcare has experienced a crossroads as the new administration aims to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Proposed legislation has changed many times in the past six months and is likely to change again before being put to a final vote in the Senate. Over the past few months, we’ve spoken with many advocacy experts about their experiences with patient access in a changing landscape. With so many unknown factors risking patient care, how can patient advocates ensure access to exceptional and comprehensive healthcare?

Know your patient

Meeting and exceeding patient expectations begins and ends with patient needs. What is most important to one patient may be less important to another. Knowing disease limitations for your patient or patient group can help streamline access processes.

Knowing which issues are vital maintaining or increasing levels of care helps advocates focus on and navigate changing legislation. Connecting with patients, conducting surveys, and exploring the burden of care have helped many advocates further understand disease limitations and thus their most important aspects of healthcare.

Communicate

In a rapidly changing landscape like healthcare legislation, patients may be concerned about their access. By keeping communication channels open, advocates can explain possible changes and their outcomes while navigating care concerns.

Communicating openly with patients may also require resources. Remind patients about the many available resources for maintaining care and care alternatives may increase a patient’s level of comfort with healthcare changes. This could range from a monthly newsletter or direct link to local and online resources.

Stay Informed

Though keeping current on legislation changes may be a common-sense tactic, as the battle over healthcare continues new information is released each day. Understanding how possible changes could impact plans of action is key to helping patients (and the industry) navigate future healthcare.

In addition to this, patient needs evolve over time. Changes to patient needs and abilities may affect how advocates utilize changing information. Keeping evolving disease states and legislative changes in mind can help advocates remain flexible and continue gaining access to healthcare.

Changing healthcare means changing access. Staying on top of these changes, communicating with patients, and keeping patient expectations on the top of your list enables many advocates to thoroughly navigate healthcare and future care possibilities.

To learn more about upcoming changes to healthcare, navigating patient expectations in differing landscapes, and advocacy best practices register for the Strengthening Patient Advocacy Relations Conference, July 25-26 in Baltimore, MD.

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