The patient advocacy does not begin with the basic questions on treatment protocol and insurance coverage alone. In fact, it can be for the right diagnosis or the second or subsequent opinions on diagnosis and the line of treatment. It is a mammoth task for anyone to go through the intricate Affordable Care Act or other relevant statutes. Therefore, the patient advocacy service is in great demand, especially in the USA.
What is patient advocacy services?
In fact, the answer to the question “What is patient advocacy services?” is not simple in a word or two. Indeed, it is a specialized process by itself. The origin of the term dates back to the 1950s when the total care in connection with treatment of cancer was coined. The patient advocacy services encompass the wide-ranging aspects of healthcare service provided by the hospital etc. A patient advocate works on behalf of the patient or the family member who coordinates with the health provider in rendering support in identifying the right sources. He also understands and monitors the condition of the patient during the entire treatment cycle.
There is no doubt that the private, independent patient advocacy services are gaining importance during the recent past. There are some specialized organizations rendering the best patient advocacy services under one umbrella. These offer holistic guidance in better pain care management and lifestyle management to control and overcome chronic conditions.
In view of the specialization in each of the areas of the medical field, the advocacy services also need to step-up their thorough exposure to the crucial corners of the subject. Therefore, each individual might compass patient advocacy services only to a limited area of their forte. Someone might deal with only cancer patients or palliative care or rehabilitative care etc. You can associate with a specialized organization which could be a one-stop solution for all sorts of disease management.
How it Works
The Patient Advocate (PA) is a bridge between the patient and the health provider. Therefore, the database of the PA should be strong enough in detailing all the requisite information.
A professional PA prepares a High-Risk report incorporating the history enabling a decision making and prognosis besides the future medical requirements based on the treatment. Therefore, the insurer might base his decision on the high-risk report.
The second report termed as Cost-Saving Analysis enables determining the return on investment. It also enumerates the saving resulted in avoidable admissions or through direct negotiations.
The responsibility of explaining certain choices of treatment, their repercussion, and keeping track of the prescriptions, making aware of insurance policy benefits etc, lies on the Patient Advocate.
How to learn patient advocacy?
A person who has been associated closely with a patient could be a better person in sharing the vagaries experienced during the treatment. In addition to the general exposure to the medical treatment process, you need to wade through various other areas including the billing, insurance terms and conditions etc.
There are more and more specialized and accredited programs for those who desire to pursue the patient advocacy as a profession. You can learn more about the specialized area through the list or you can enroll in the Society of Certified Senior Advisors Certification Program. It is also a better idea to browse through Patient Advocate Foundation which is a non-profit organization.
As evident, the best patient advocacy services providers make a tremendous impact on a patient in order to better cope with the rigors of daily medications or pain management programs. It seeks to extend the utility value of healthcare physicians and provide a knowledgeable and helping hand to patients to better manage their illness.