In a perfect world it would be possible for every patient to focus on getting well and not utilize their energy on figuring out a complex health care system.
Patient advocates or Patient Advocacy is one of the newest sectors of the healthcare system, working for hospitals, healthcare organizations, or private clients. These advocates have backgrounds in nursing, social work, case management, or law. Have no fear, this role is not limited. Friends or loved ones can serve as advocates too. “Imagine if every patient had someone with them to ask questions and track information—or just remind providers to wash their hands when they come into your room,” he says.
A savvy helper. Many large hospitals, assigns a advocate for the patients to their more complex or critical cases and to assist those from low-income communities. Although these advocates who are employed by hospitals play a very valuable role, they also have a built in conflict of interest. Private-hire advicates play a specialize role in research, and finding reliable doctors, managing paper work and helping patients understand their conditions. Meanwhile others focus on one area such as insurance disputes or legal matters.
Compensation ranges from Hourly fees of $60 to over $250. As yet, the emerging field has no official licensing and credentialing requirements, but the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants is developing professional standards and best practices. A directory is available at www.nahac.com.