Are you or someone you know the 1 out of the 3 people that research indicates are affected by hospital medical errors? Health care misdiagnoses, improper care and/or lack of priority for the best care available are common scenarios that can be managed.
Other problem areas that people in need of care experience:
Unfortunately, these are very common situations in the current and foreseeable future of the stressed U.S. healthcare system. These overwhelming and frustrating encounters have created a demand in the healthcare industry for independent patient advocates. There is a growing need for people to be professionally represented and take a proactive role in managing their health to prevent incomplete or improper care, reduce denial of coverage and/or incorrect billings. Independent patient advocates or personal health advocates help to manage the health care process for individuals and families.
Currently, there are several hundred private patient advocates in the U.S. and the number is growing to ramp up to demand. Unlike professionals who are termed as patient advocates on staff at a hospital or insurance company, an independent and private patient advocate is not affiliated with or paid by a potential conflict of interest organization. A private patient advocate is typically paid directly by the individual or the family to help find and decide on the best options to prevent a crisis and/or manage a care situation with their client’s interest as the priority.
When someone is hospitalized there are many serious and sometimes fatal situations that can arise if a patient does not at least have a dedicated and qualified friend or family member carefully managing their care. Many families do not have this and the differences in diagnoses, treatments and care can be significant. Some examples of this:
What are some specific tasks that you may want to hire a patient advocate to do for you or your family?
Patient advocates at their best are problem solvers and project managers who strive to provide their clients with the knowledge they need to make timely, informed decisions. Many advocates have backgrounds as individuals who have learned about the problems of the system through personal experience, are experts in facilitation/ management and can think outside the current system’s issues. A patient advocate typically charges by the hour for their services. Hourly rates can range from $60-$300/hour based on education, training, experience and skills.
Where can you find a private patient advocate? A good place to start is through national organizations that have members listed by geographic location and expertise. For example, the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC) and AdvoConnection have web sites that offer a directory of members so you can find an advocate based on your specific need and location. http:///www.nahac.com and http://www.advoconnection.com