Health care is complicated. When you or a loved one faces ongoing treatment and/or a complex medical problem, the whole system can feel overwhelming. Multiple doctors and other medical professionals are usually involved in insurance companies.
These situations often leave people confused and unsure of who to turn to for help with questions and advice for managing the process of getting health care services. This is where a health care advocate can step in and help.
What is a Health Care Advocate?
A health care advocate is someone who can help you or your loved one navigate the health care system. Advocates can be a friend or family members. They can also be paid professionals who have experience in health care and help people who don’t have an advocate already or need expert help.
Benefits of Choosing a Health Care Advocate
- Help you understand the medical treatment process and figure out your preferences and what you want
- Make sure you know your rights
- Ask questions and address your concerns with doctors and other medical professionals
- Go over hospital bills and talk with the insurance company about charges
- Research conditions and treatments
- Keep track of paperwork, appointments, and medication lists to be prepared for every appointment
Why Health Care Advocates are Important
Health Care advocates are essential because they will ask questions, do research, and help manage the treatment or care process in a way that puts you or your loved one first.
Doctors and other medical professionals are knowledgeable and experienced, but they won’t always understand what works for you. You might even feel pressured into making decisions about treatment without fully understanding its implications for you or your loved one.
An advocate can help walk you through these choices and help you figure out what you want to do without exerting pressure. They are there to help you or your loved one. An advocate might find something that a medical professional missed or hadn’t considered before.
Health care advocates are there to help you or your loved one. Whether it’s just taking notes or asking questions, their focus is to help you understand and get the most out of the health care system.
Different Types of Healthcare Advocates
Outside of the standard Health Care Advocates that help you navigate through medical care, there are a few other types of health care advocacy. Some patients understand certain pieces of health care and only need help in one or two aspects.
Here are a few of the different forms that health care advocacy can take.
Medical Billing Advocates
Advocates in this respect will help you understand your bills, negotiate them, and adjust them as necessary.
Health Care Advocates can help you decide if your loved one should be placed in a hospital, nursing home, or rehab center. They will also assist with the transfer process if that becomes necessary.
Elderly Adult Navigation
If you’re taking care of an elderly family member or loved one, advocates can help you set up meal plans, transportation, in-home healthcare, and anything else you need help with.
Modern healthcare has almost as many legal issues as it does medical ones. Advocates can help you negotiate the legal aspects of healthcare.
Health Insurance Navigation
Never before has health insurance been more complicated than it is today. Advocates can help with Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, veteran benefits, copays, and everything else involved with insurance.
Can I Be My Own Healthcare Advocate?
It’s possible to be your healthcare advocate, but you have to be willing to do extensive research and ask a ton of questions. Being your advocate takes lots of time, energy, and thoroughness. You should ask about and research every test your doctor orders and check with your insurance provider to see what they’ll cover.