I am an independent patient advocate, which means my top priority is getting my clients the best results for their health needs. I am healthcare system neutral, preventing any conflicts of interest that could arise from an advocate or navigator that may be assigned to a patient from by a hospital or health plan.
I adhere to a code of conduct that outlines the responsibilities I have to patients and clients and the ethical standards which I follow. I will always treat my clients and patients with compassion and respect, promoting their health and rights as patients, while never discriminating against them. I will also keep my business practices transparent and diligently work to maintain my clients' privacy. The act of making a decision will always be left to the client, but I will use my experience and ever-growing knowledge of their condition to guide them in choosing care options in line with their values and beliefs. I will maintain a professional relationship in working with clients, patients, and other healthcare professionals, avoiding conflicts of interest that could arise from accepting gifts or other compensation for services. Should your needs fall outside my scope of knowledge, I will refer you to someone capable of providing those services. The full code of conduct is available at http://healthadvocatecode.org.
HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act, was enacted to, among other things, create a set of standards for transmitting healthcare information between providers and insurance companies. Later provisions also included a privacy rule that regulates who has access to protected health information, the steps they must take to keep the information secure, and penalties for parties that do not comply with these rules. HIPAA determines which parties are considered covered entities, and includes doctors, health plans, and clearinghouses that transmit information, as well as their business associates. Patient advocates are not covered under this rule, but they can still choose to follow these rules. I am HIPAA compliant, which means I will take every measure to protect your health information. This means I can only share your records, for purposes of your care, with others should you consent to it. HIPAA information is available on the Department of Health & Human Services website at http://www.hhs.gov/hipaa.