What You Need to Know About a Senior Patient Advocate and if One is Right For You

 

Navigating our complex healthcare system today can be overwhelming and confusing – especially at a time when you or a loved one is ill, frightened, and vulnerable.  Having the help of a Patient Advocate can help you navigate the maze of your healthcare journey.  Patient Advocates stay with their patient clients – regardless of the healthcare setting in which they travel.  A Patient Advocate may connect with you in the hospital during a healthcare crisis, in your home, and even attend medical appointments with you.  Then can help you transition to other appropriate levels of care.  A Patient Advocate is your “hands and feet, eyes and ears” when you need help the most.  Patient Advocates are not case managers.  A Patient Advocate works closely with your healthcare team but is not employed by the healthcare provider, hospital, or facility.  Therefore, an Advocate is not limited by the walls of a healthcare setting and can follow the patient regardless of where they may need to go next to get healthcare services.  A Patient Advocate will work to help patients realize better health outcomes by enhancing communication and ensuring continuity of care.

Here are a few specific ways a Senior Patient Advocate can help you or your family:

Navigate the Healthcare Maze

An unexpected hospital stay can create many questions and concerns.  Utilizing a Patient Advocate at this time can help families locally and long-distance get answers and clarification from healthcare providers while sharing relevant and valuable patient information with your healthcare team.  Enhancing communication helps a hurried healthcare environment to focus on those needs that a patient and their family feel are most important.  A Patient Advocate can help streamline the communication process so the patient truly becomes and remains the “center of care”.

 

Face a Healthcare Crisis or Difficult Transition

A fall, illness, or declining healthcare situation can cause families to reach out for help in these difficult times.  Helping a loved one get the immediate help they need and direction to develop a strategy to ensure adequate care and assistance are resourced could not be more important at this time.  Using an experienced Senior Patient Advocate to help develop a personalized, customized, and individualized approach during these transitions will ensure continuity of care and improved health outcomes as the priority for the patient client.

 

Understanding Medicare, Long-Term Care and Other Health Insurance Coverage Matters

Navigating the Medicare “maze”, tracking claim status or initiating a claim, and making sure your treatment approach will be covered by insurance can be a daunting task on a good day – let alone during a healthcare crisis or major medical event.  Family may be trying to help long distance and can’t attend medical appointments or track insurance matters.  Utilizing a Senior Patient Advocate at this time can help a patient and their family focus on the business of getting their loved one healthy.  Utilizing a Senior Patient Advocate who is also a “licensed healthcare insurance consultant” (one who does NOT sell insurance) can help in a very specialized way – ensure that access to healthcare services are covered by insurance.  Understanding Medicare (including Part D prescription coverage and long term care insurance), dealing with unexpected outpatient hospital admissions such as an “observation” stay can create additional stress and expense for patients during a time when there are already complications and many questions.  A knowledgeable, trained Senior Patient Advocate and insurance consultant can be a very valuable asset for patients and their healthcare teams.

 

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