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Need a Patient Advocate?

Do I Need a Patient Advocate by Barbara Hales, M.D.
June 30, 2014

A patient advocate is someone who works for the benefit of patients and their families”. “A patient advocate can lend a helping hand when you need it most...”

“Individuals need an unbiased person to speak on their behalf while providing guidance, friendship and emotional support. Advocates help make choices and empower patients with access to relevant information.”

*Patient Advocates/Navigators – The responsibilities of a patient advocate are many and can include:
Medication reviews and coordinating various drugs
Explaining diagnosis and treatment options
Liaise between all the specialists that the patient is seeing so they know what was diagnosed, which treatments were given, and which tests were done or are pending
Assistance in monitoring in-hospital
Medical record reviews
Accompaniment to doctor’s appointments
Aiding in comprehension for the patient

*Health care Mediation and Conflict Resolution – A health care mediator seeks to facilitate an agreement between all the involved stakeholders, i.e. various family members, medical staff and friends.

*Shared Decision Makers 
*Health Exchange/Marketplace Navigators 
*Medical Bills and Claim Reviewers.

*Senior/Legal Advocates 
*Statutory Advocacy 
*Hospital Patient Advocates or Representatives – Hired by the hospital

*Health Coaches –

Patient advocates work for:

Hospitals – serving the patients while they are admitted
Social Service Agencies – for client outreach
Insurance Companies
Private/Freelance – serving the clients themselves

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