A senior couple discuss items with their healthcare advocate

What is a Healthcare Advocate?

JUMP AHEAD

Have you ever been to the doctor and did not understand what is being explained to you? Have you been on the phone with your insurance company and hung up with so many unanswered questions? Have you ever been so confused about your medical coverage or diagnosis? Perhaps it is time to get the support that you need with a healthcare advocate. A medical advocate is a trusted individual who can support you with certain healthcare needs. 

What are the Responsibilities of a Healthcare Advocate? 

The general responsibilities of a healthcare advocate include but are not limited to assisting with medical care, medical billing, health insurance, placement, and legal assistance.  

  1. Medical Care Assistance

    1. Communicate with healthcare providers
    2. Coordinate and attend appointments
    3. Speak about patients’ rights
    4. Identify health resources
    5. Explain complicated medical information and diagnosis/conditions  
  2. Medical Care Assistance

    1. Review medical bills for accuracy
    2. Resolve billing errors
  3. Health Insurance Assistance

    1. Understanding health insurance coverage/plans
    2. Explain copayments and coinsurance 
    3. Investigating in-network and out-of-network providers
    4. Advise on the selection of healthcare plans and insurance policies. 
  4. Placement Assistance

    1. Assist with hospital admission and discharge
    2. Assist with transfer to a nursing home, assisted living facility, or rehabilitation center 
  5. Legal Assistance

    1. Assist with legal concerns or issues
    2. Advocate for those who received poor care at a medical facility
    3. Assist with disability filling 

 

What Type of Documentation is Needed? 

Depending on the state in which you reside will depend on the proper document needed to allow a healthcare advocate to act on your behalf.  Documentation is the best way to communicate clear expectations on responsibilities for your healthcare advocate. Within this form, you should include your information, the advocate’s name, advocate’s address, the general responsibilities of the advocate, and a signature page. The documentation needed for your medical advocate is not the same as a power of attorney. A healthcare advocate is there to support and help guide you in the decision-making process not make decisions for you. Ensure that you are using the correct documentation to communicate the responsibilities for your healthcare advocate. 

How Do You Find a Healthcare Advocate?

It is important to have a healthcare advocate that you can trust and depend on. Who can you ask to be your healthcare advocate? You may ask a close relative, friend, or healthcare professional. If you do not have a trusted person close to you that can be your healthcare advocate, where do you turn? Fortunately, many health insurance companies will provide a healthcare advocate. This service may be included in your healthcare coverage so be sure to ask the right questions to ensure what the cost will be prior to moving forward with the next step in this process. Whether you decided to go with someone you know or an appointed healthcare advocate, prior to meeting with a potential healthcare advocate be sure to write down the things that you are needing assistance with and any questions that you may have to ensure that you will be matched with the healthcare advocate that is right for you. 

At Culpepper Place of Olive Branch, we take pride in helping our residents within our Community. Please contact Culpepper Place of Olive Branch today to find out more!

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