What is a patient advocate?
Patient advocacy involves guiding a patient through the healthcare system maze. Patient advocates act as professional liaisons between patients and healthcare providers. With countless hospitals, outpatient centers, insurance companies, and doctors across the country, it is easy for communication to break down, leaving patients to fend for themselves.
By working in the medical field for over 20 years, I have witnessed firsthand how easy it is for issues to arise for patients. Bottom line, my job is to make sure all parties involved are on the same page and communicating effectively while the patient feels they are being heard and their needs are being met.
Dr. Michele Mosier, PharmD.
I am a Doctor of Pharmacy with over 20 years of experience in mostly retail and pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) settings. I graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, and am a licensed pharmacist in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland.
I began my career in retail pharmacy where I managed and supervised my own retail store for 6 years. As time progressed, I realized that I was contributing to a broken healthcare system—a system that encourages medication usage to treat symptoms that often leads to undesirable side effects. I observed patients who were in a cycle of dependency.
In 2016, I witnessed our broken healthcare system firsthand and the detrimental effects it can have on a beloved family member. My uncle suffered the first of two strokes, which changed his life forever. My medical and pharmacy experience, along with my natural willingness to help others, propelled me to take an active role in my uncle’s care. I made frequent visits to the hospital, reviewed medical charts, and addressed medication issues. To ensure my loved one was being heard, I consistently communicated with his various medical professionals.
This event helped me discover my true passion and revealed the enormous need for patient advocacy. Navigating the healthcare continuum can be both daunting and frustrating. I believe no healthcare patient should walk the journey alone. A patient advocate should walk with them, while breaking down barriers, restoring hope, and optimizing patient outcomes. As I proudly recited with my graduating class in 2001, I “Embrace and advocate for changes that improve patient care.”
In my free time, I enjoy getting together with family & friends, photography, and exploring the outdoors. I am a proud aunt of my niece Megan and nephew Ethan. In my personal life, I focus on the health of the whole person– mind, body, and spirit. I take a holistic approach, using exercise, clean eating, and mindfulness to maintain health.
Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
–Harriet Beecher Stowe
PBMs are companies that manage prescription drug benefits on behalf of health insurers, Medicare Part D drug plans, large employers, and other payers. Specifically, I clinically reviewed medications for coverage, using established criteria. Subsequently, I was the first pharmacist hired to work with the newly developed process improvement and quality assurance team. During this time, I assisted with new operating system development, training multiple pharmacists in multiple states on various topics, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) audits and other compliance related initiatives. Most recently, I evaluated providers and pharmacies for potential Medicare Parts C & D fraud waste and abuse (FWA) by researching and analyzing various forms of data and prescription drug event (PDE) records.
Tremendous time and effort was spent over my career as a pharmacist to find an employer that truly values quality and a patient’s health and well-being over quantity, without success. This led me to either take matters into my own hands or continue to contribute to an immoral, broken system. As I researched other avenues in which I could use my pharmacy degree, patient advocacy stood out to me. Assisting my uncle with his care after his strokes confirmed that this is the path that I am supposed to take. Healthcare patient advocacy combines my passion for helping others and my medical field experience, making me an excellent addition to your care team. I am blessed to have found an avenue in which quality truly matters and patient’s health and well-being is a priority.