Patient advocate services.
Families seeking free advice on to ensure their health care needs are met can use a Patient Advocate. There are companies that provide this service as well as individual specialists. What they do is in effect advice, or even represent, patients and their families on a range of medical as well as dental needs.
It is very difficult to understand and with the nation's complex health care system. This is a challenge for everyone, no matter the person's age, income, or educational levels. There are countless rules and regulations that health insurance companies as well as medical providers implement, and it can be a challenge in dealing with hospitals. Patient advocates will help the person navigate the system ti ensure the proper treatment is given.
Assistance provided by patient advocates
While they do not specialize in dealing with medical bills, they can offer referrals. Instead a patient advocate is more focused on the type of care given as well as treatment plans. They can also deal with issues such as transportation, review medications, complete forms and more. A healthcare advocate will work with the client to ensure they are given the best care possible by their doctor or while they are staying in the hospital.
For people that do need help with paying their hospital bills, there are resources for those here. This is a different type of advocacy though and is really a separate service. Only certain companies (or individual advocates) offer this, As an example, learn about financial aid for hospital costs.
The patient advocate with ensure the right questions are asked to the doctor. They will ensure that all forms of treatment or medications have been explored and the client is given the care they need per a treatment plan in place. The advocate will try to stay informed of the most advanced treatment for various conditions or diseases. They can also serve as a wealth of knowledge of the most recently developed prescription medications from the leading pharmaceutical companies, such as Glaxo and others. The advocate is really a spokesperson that the patient can rely on.
They will ensure that all of the patient's legal and other rights are addressed. They will represent them in all aspects of their medical care and give a voice to them when they can't. This can often be a difficult time for the client, and their family may also be very stressed or not know what to ask the doctor. The advocate can assist to ensure fair treatment is given.
Confidentially is stressed too. When someone has an illness, a nurse or doctor needs to ensure this information is not shared with friends or family who do not need to know. Also, employers and other companies are not entitled to know all this information,. The patient is entitled too privacy, and the advocate will ensure this occurs. Trust is critical when it comes to healthcare.
There are also companies as well as patient advocate foundations that cover health insurance policies. They will review what treatments are covered and not. If the patient lacks insurance (or has poor coverage) then they will explore other options for financial aid. As an example, some clinical trials may be offered for free if someone is willing to take that risk. An advocate can help navigate this process, or refer people to other health insurance plans for the uninsured. They will help complete forms, assist with getting follow up care, and more. Every effort will be denied to ensure the health care company does not deny the claim.
Where to find an advocate for a patient
Some of this will depend on exactly what type of service the person is looking for. There are both individuals (such as sole proprietors) that can provide guidance. There are also small to mid-size businesses that focus on advocating for patients. Some also specialize in disability, helping seniors or children, or other groups. Even volunteers, such as a social work, can be an effective health care advocate.
For this needing free advice on dealing with medical or dental bills, including finding errors, there are organizations that can assist and focus on this service. They will review all costs of the treatment and ensure the best price is given. These services are provided by medical bill advocates.
Some patient advocates assist the disabled as well. They focus on mental or physical conditions. The process will ensure that the proper medical treatment is given for someone on social security SSI, and they cover all needs of the patient. Find more help for the disabled.
Senior citizens can get help from a number of patient advocate foundations. These will of course cover medical needs of the older population, but they will also put a strong emphasis on public benefits such as Medicare and prescription assistance programs. As there are many assistance programs for seniors, and those can be addressed by a patient advocate.
To find information, or get referrals to an healthcare advocate, dial 1-800-532-5274. Note some services are free, but others may have a cost involved. Another online database is at advoconnection.com. There are various places to find patient advocates that can advocate on behalf of those that need it.