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Patient Advocate Solutions Column 1 Version 2

Everyone knows suffering. Often, when we are the most wounded, and we need help the most, we don’t know where to get it. Navigating the dizzying medical-care maze can be both time-consuming and confusing.

This is where a Patient Advocate comes in. What does a "Patient Advocate" do? The simple answer is that they help people navigate the healthcare system. A Patient Advocate acts as a support structure, and if legally contracted to do so, may act as a liaison between a patient and their Health Care Provider and/or Insurance Company. The Patient Advocate does not compete with your healthcare provider, they offer assistance where the role of physician becomes limited. A Patient Advocate can help alleviate the pain and the frustration that goes with the worry of uncertainty, fear, and the unknown related to health care issues.

The state of healthcare in the United States means that we may no longer be able to count on healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses to provide all the care we need. It is not their fault. They are being pulled in too many directions by health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and vast amounts of medical research they can't keep up with.

The Healthcare system is changing dramatically. There are thousands of pages to read to keep up with the changes. To add to the complexity, each insurance plan and each insurance company have different contracts and rules for individual policies. Each insurance company has a different contract and payment schedule with individual hospitals and providers. It is easy to see how we find ourselves in a maze that is difficult if not impossible to navigate. The addition of long waits and runarounds add to this frustration.

Patient Advocates aim to facilitate the relationship between individuals and their health care, from helping locate the best doctors and specialists, to researching treatment options and assisting with insurance claims and appeals.

Legal assistance is sometimes warranted, but it is not necessary to pay large attorney fees for basic advocate care. Patient advocates are not attorneys. If you do need legal counsel, they can help you find competent and compassionate counsel after doing all they can do, and we will provide them with all the information that has been compiled and gathered in your behalf. Your medical information is held in utmost confidentiality and security.

The need for Patient Advocacy relates to people of all ages and life styles. It doesn’t discriminate.

Article Reviewed: June 8, 2012
Copyright © 2014 Healthy Magazine
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patty Horne

Years of experiencing the complexities and challenges of the healthcare system spurred Patient Advocate Solutions L.L.C. founder, Patricia Horne, to learn how to navigate through the maze of medicine, insurance, bills, and their accompanying frustrations. Patricia learned the importance of understanding the vast and ever evolving insurance system, federal health guidelines, and of "taking the bull by the horns" when it comes to loved ones dealing with medical conditions and emergencies. » MORE INFO

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