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The Rise of Private Patient Advocacy

March 20, 2018

 

 

 

 

Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. following heart disease and cancer; according to a study from John Hopkins. Approximately 440,000 people die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.

 

There is a tremendous amount of change going on within the health care system and patients are becoming more involved with their health care journey. The health care system is complicated, and patients need assistance in navigating through these complexities. Dealing with the emotion of an illness and these complications are very stressful to a patient.  

 

Doctors are incredibly overwhelmed with the number of patients they see and the overwhelming administrative work. Having an advocate can assist in being a liaison between a patient and their medical team.  

 

Types of Patient Advocates 

 

Some advocates specialize in the clinical aspect of health care. Some of their services might include exploring different treatment options, prepare you for your doctor's visit, or help you better understand your diagnosis.

 

Advocates in Alabama also offer consulting services to health care facilities to assist with the MIPS program. They collaborate with the health care system in improving efficiency and simplifying the patient experience within our health system. They work to Improve the quality of care to the patients in which they serve. 

 

There are advocates available in Alabama to assist you with your healthcare journey no matter your medical situation. A patient advocate creates a plan around your specific needs and goals. Being able to be proactive with your health will help prevent problems before they occur. 

 

The cost of a patient advocate 

 

In other states, employers offer the benefit of a private patient advocate through the company. As Alabama health insurance costs continue to rise with higher deductibles, employees are having to bear more responsibility for managing their health care. Private patient advocacy services assist their employees with navigating the healthcare maze, understanding the options available, and managing their efforts appropriately. To help Alabama employees adjust to these increased responsibilities, employers can offer private patient advocacy programs. Some of the benefits of having an advocate for an Alabama employer include better employee focus and productivity, healthier and less stressed employees, and lowering costs.

 

If an employer benefit offer is not available to you at the moment, it is an out-of-pocket expense and can range anywhere between $75 to $450 an hour depending on the services and location. 

 

How to Find a Patient Advocate

 

There are several ways to find a local advocate in Alabama. You can conduct a Google search for a “private patient advocate,” reach out to your primary care physician and ask for a referral or go to the online directory to either The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates or the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants. It is always essential to screen the advocate before you choose to work with them. Ask for background checks, review their skills and expertise. You can compare their credentials with the patient advocate board certification standards.  

 

Krista Hughes is the first and only private patient advocate in the state of Alabama.  For more information on how she can assist you or your loved one in navgating the complex healthcare system, go to www.hughesadvocacy.com. or email her at hughesadvocacy@gmail.com

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