When Aimé-Juedes examined his medical records, she discovered that a heart-function indicator had risen over time. Yet five years later, Winemiller still was taking drugs for cardiomyopathy based on the initial low number in 2006. A side effect of those medications was respiratory problems.
Tests confirmed he never had cardiomyopathy. A cardiologist told him to stop taking the heart medications. His respiratory problems vanished. “Fortunately this misdiagnosis was caught,” says Winemiller, “and I stopped taking the medications that I never needed in the first place.”
He considers himself lucky to have met Aimé-Juedes.
“Mary saved my life.”
Finding an Advocate
Before hiring a health care advocate, you’ll want to make sure the person’s background fits your needs. Some questions to ask:
- Have you handled cases like mine before?
- What would you typically do for someone in my situation?
- What is your background and training?
- How long will it take to perform the services I need?
- What do you charge? How do you charge?
- Do you have references?
- Do you provide written reports?
- What are your hours?
- How do you communicate with clients?
• National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants
Sandra Yin is a freelance writer based in Rockville, Md. She has written for many publications, including The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education.