Successfully Navigating Through a Broken System
How a Patient Advocate can ensure the highest level of care for the lowest possible cost.
Overseeing long-term care for a loved one is an awesome responsibility, requiring constant vigilance and inside knowledge of how to navigate the bureaucracy of the healthcare system. There are decisions to make, details to monitor, medication to distribute, errands to run, paperwork to file, bills to pay, and appointments to keep.
This is especially true during transition stages. When patients are being moved to a new level of care, or when new healthcare professionals are introduced, it is entirely too common for pertinent information to be lost or overlooked, resulting in sometimes irrevocable harm to the patient.
Even after successful transitions, most family members worry that their loved one is not getting the best care simply because of the overwhelming nature of our current healthcare system. Having a Patient Advocate on their side greatly reduces - even eliminates - the chaos and confusion that most families experience navigating the healthcare maze.
If you are currently dealing with a loved one who needs ongoing care, a Patient Advocate can help you:
- Explore treatment options so that decisions about care are well informed
- Deal with paperwork and negotiate with insurance companies to ensure the highest benefit for the lowest expense
- Monitor medications and minimize the risk of conflicting treatment options and medications
- Coordinate medical care, appointments and transportation for the patient
- Ensure clear communication among health care providers, insurers, the patient and the patient’s family
- Ensure the highest level of patient centered care; medical and non-medical needs are taken care of
What to look for in a Patient Advocate:
- An independent provider whose only commitment is the patient’s best interest - not an insurance company or health care provider
- Offers Complete Patient Advocacy; works across the entire spectrum of the healthcare system and creates and implements a complete patient care plan that includes medical and non-medical needs
- Competence: can rely on years of experience working within the healthcare system, but is also focused on continued education
For most patients and their families, a Patient Advocate means a potential increase in benefits and reduction of costs, and freedom from paperwork, patient monitoring, insurance hassles, and research of treatment options. It means peace of mind.
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Marie Connolly, an Independent Patient Advocate with more than 35 years experience in the healthcare system. She practices Complete Patient Advocacy and can be reached at: 303-695-0115 or visit her website at GuidingLightLLC.com