Taking care of your health is an imperative part of life, and while it does involve some personal responsibility, you don’t have to go through it all alone. You can adopt a healthcare advocate to help campaign for you while you navigate the healthcare industry.
This advocate can be anyone you trust–a friend, caregiver, or loved one with your best interests at heart. At the most basic level, advocates act as an extra pair of ears and eyes in every conversation you have about your health. Ideally, this person is well-versed in the medical aspects of your life, but there’s more to it than just coming with you to the doctor’s office. Here are just some of the services a healthcare advocate can provide for you.
Table of Contents
An advocate is typically not a licensed medical professional, but an advocate could handle phone calls with healthcare providers for you. These conversations typically include a range of topics, including:
- Setting up appointments
- Clarifying your rights as a patient
- Clarifying information, such as medical diagnoses
Having someone who knows these specific details about you can be monumentally helpful if you are in a pinch and need an extra hand.
Handling bills can be tedious work, with having to call billing services and setting up cards and payments. Having someone to act as a second pair of eyes to double check everything is a great idea. Healthcare advocates can also negotiate bills with healthcare providers. This involves many steps, such as understanding the nature and limits of your healthcare service and browsing through other competing providers to get an idea of how much you should be paying. An advocate with an eye for finances would be indispensable for handling billing.
A healthcare advocate will also be able to inform you about the coverage provided by an insurance plan. Some common points of discussion include benefits, such as Medicare benefits, premium amounts, deductibles, and how copays work. Insurance providers can have a number of options available inside and outside of the networks they sometimes form to offer services at negotiated rates. A savvy healthcare advocate will be able to find you the best services for the best prices.
Another role carried out by healthcare advocates is the process of bringing you to and from the hospital or primary care practitioner’s office. For some patients, medical visits are a regular part of their schedule. If this applies to you, having someone tasked to help you get admitted and discharged seamlessly could be quite useful. This is especially true if you have just received treatment or a surgical procedure and require a little extra help in getting home so you can rest.
In the unfortunate event that your rights or finances are infringed upon while in the care of a healthcare provider, it makes a difference to have an advocate in your corner. You can either have your advocate be trained in medical law, or they can consult with someone who is. No matter what happens, an advocate should know what has happened and the best course of action to help.
You can have anyone in your life that serves as a healthcare advocate if you feel they are up to the task. If you feel like no one you know can handle it, individuals and entire companies are willing to offer their services to help you find someone who can be there for you and your medical needs. If you need a little extra support when it comes to your medical requirements, finding a good healthcare advocate could make all the difference in your life.