What is a patient advocate?Managing your health, or the health of loved ones, has been become a lot more complicated recently. The healthcare industry has been getting bigger; with its increasing size and complexity, it has also become more difficult for patients and caregivers to understand. This can result in it being arduous to obtain the care the patients need. A patient advocate, also known as a patient navigator or health concierge, is there to help you or a family member work their way through the system with the goal of getting the best care for the patient.
Why would you consider using a patient advocate?Maybe you've been recently diagnosed with a condition that will require specialist visits and recurring treatments. Perhaps an elderly patient would be better served by receiving ongoing care. For a patient or caregiver, finding a doctor or a hospital, working with a health plan to cover services, and making sense of it all can be challenging on top of the stress that comes with having a health issue. A patient advocate can help make sense of it all.
How can a patient advocate help you?An advocate understands the healthcare system. They can research the individual needs of the client and find the right doctor, contact the health plan to ensure the patient can get the most from their benefits, and promote understanding of their issues. Advocates use their skills to efficiently traverse the healthcare system and streamline the process for the patient, lessening the burden placed on the client in organizing care. Their focus on the client's health and rights combined with the knowledge of healthcare can yield the most important result—complete care for the patient.