What is a Patient Advocate? Do I need one?

There are different definitions of the term “patient advocate”. It is a fairly new concept, and without knowing the different definitions, you can’t really understand why you need a patient advocate. In addition, a patient advocate is often called a health advocate, medical advocate, medical navigator, or professional advocate. There are three main definitions of the patient advocate.

What “patient advocate” is traditionally known as

In many states, a “designated patient advocate” is a person 18 years or older that is designed by the patient, who is given authorization to exercise powers concerning care, custody, and medical or mental health treatment decisions for the individual making the patient advocate designation.

Knowing this definition, you may think I don’t need to hire a private patient advocate, I don’t want someone I don’t know making these decisions for me. Here is where it can be confusing because this is actually different from what many patient advocates do.

Private Patient Advocate

A private patient advocate, like Pathway Patient Advocates, is an unbiased individual who is not affiliated with a specific health system or insurance company. He or she is someone who works for you to help navigate you through your health challenges. In addition, with a private patient advocate you never have to feel alone. We can help with a variety of challenges including; new diagnoses, undiagnosed symptoms, rare disorders, cancer, elderly care management, medical billing, and insurance issues.

Such a patient advocate DOES NOT MAKE MEDICAL DECISIONS FOR YOU and is distinctly different from the commonly known legal term “designated patient advocate”.

So why specifically do you need a private patient advocate?

What Can a Private Patient Advocate Do For Me?

Medical Bills and Insurance issues

Approximately 85% of medical bills contain errors. You may be receiving bills or even collection notices. You may even be reluctant to get the medical care you need due to concerns about cost. Here’s where Pathway Patient Advocates can help: We can assist with reviewing medical bills, looking for errors, and submitting appeals. We can also provide Health Plan benefit education, correcting billing errors due to improper coding, as well as complete medical billing reviews and audits. Our billing and medical expertise can save you money and leave you feeling comfortable to get the medical care you need.

Navigating a New or Existing Medical Condition

We know that being sick is scary. Especially one that is life-altering such as cancer. We want you to know that multiple options are available and Pathway Patient Advocates can assist you in navigating your path to management and comfort.

For many, having a sick family member or loved one is emotionally exhausting and overwhelming. A patient advocate is here for you and your family to help you navigate the process. This includes resources such as coordination of care, second opinions, researching different treatment options, etc. You don’t have to travel the path alone.

Elderly Care support and Placement

As we age or develop different medical issues; we become less independent. Loss of dependence, whether minor or complete can be a difficult adjustment. There are many factors involved in choosing the best placement and care for yourself or a loved one. A Patient Advocate helps make that transition smooth and enjoyable.

These are just a few ways a patient advocate can help…

Many Health systems and Insurance Companies Offer a Complimentary Patient Advocate, Why Should I Hire a Private One?

While many hospitals do now offer patient advocates, they are more like customer service representatives. The patient advocate may refer you to the billing department or other areas in the hospital. They typically do not have the medical or billing knowledge or experience to help you in a way that a private patient advocate can.

A private patient advocate provides an experienced medical professional with unbiased suggestions and assistance to help navigate your path to the best possible care.

My Insurance Does Not Cover a Patient Advocate, Why Pay For The Extra Expense?…

An experienced private patient advocate can save you up to hundreds of thousands of dollars and help you attain the medical care you need in a more timely manner. This not only saves you money and time but also helps you achieve and maintain an improved quality of life.

You only have 1 life, so we recommend that you care for it well. With a healthy life, you have the opportunity to start or continue enjoying life; it is essential to take care of your health.

Not all Patient Advocates Are the Same

Each patient advocate has a different level of experience and education. Ask questions to make sure you feel comfortable with the patient advocate that you pick. Consider asking if they have experience with your specific situation. How long they have been practicing for, and what their educational background is. Your goal is to select an advocate who you can trust and feel confident that they are advocating for you.

The Pathway Patient Advocates Team includes both medical and billing experts. Our span of knowledge is equipped to assist you in any challenge of medicine that you face. Most important is our passion and dedication to helping you succeed and overcome these barriers. Our professional and personal experiences with challenges in healthcare have led us to develop Pathway Patient Advocates so that we can help people like. Dr. Borrelli, founder of Pathway Patient Advocates, is an experienced Board Certified Patient Advocate. She has over 25 years of experience working in the medical field. Cancer, rare disorders, and undiagnosed symptoms need intensive care management and expert care. Pathway Patient Advocates can help you attain just that. Dr. Borrelli and her team treat every client like a part of their family. Let us help you get the proper care that you deserve.