August 28, 2020
Following a cancer diagnosis, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed with information, decision making, bills and other factors that are sure to come up during your treatment process. Instead of focusing on your health and recovery, you end up spending a lot of time figuring out what your best treatment option is, or how you’ll be able to afford your treatment plan, or even if you have the right insurance plan for your situation.
Fortunately, support is available. A Healthcare Advisor, commonly referred to as a patient advocate, offers a wide variety of services with the goal of making sure you get the best possible care available. These services include helping with decision making, finance and medical bills, insurance assistance, and much more.
Everyone should be involved in the decision-making process of their healthcare. You deserve to have a voice and choice in things like treatment options.
Healthcare Advisors (also referred to as a Health Advisor or Patient Advocate), have the experience to engage healthcare teams in highly collaborative decision-making that prioritizes a patient’s understanding. This takes time and effort to ask the right questions to receive the right answers. It also takes additional research from a professional who knows how to lay out of all your treatment options and weigh their risks and benefits. In doing so, you can make decisions with confidence and focus on your health.
Before any appointment, a Healthcare Advisor can “prep” you to make sure you get all the information you need during the visit. This can include creating a plan of what you’d like to get out of the appointment and preparing a list of questions to ask your healthcare team. They can then attend this appointment with you to take notes and ask questions. Afterwards, they can help you review your healthcare team’s recommendations.
Knowledge is power in the case of a medical decision. With the help of a Healthcare Advisor, you can have the information and support needed to become more involved in your healthcare decision-making.
The billing system is so complicated that most people will simply pay their bills without checking for errors. No one teaches you to properly read a medical bill or how to check for errors. Most of the time, we don’t know how much a procedure is supposed to cost!
Fortunately, a health advisor will be well equipped to understand medical bills, detect billing errors and ask the right questions about necessary and unnecessary costs. They can:
Estimate your potential healthcare costs
File and track your medical bill paperwork
Review medical bills for errors
Dispute denied claims for hospital bills or other medical billing
Connect you with reputable financial resources
Health care Advisors are familiar with insurance protocols and therefore can help you navigate your insurance plan and coverage. With the guidance of a Healthcare Advisor, you’ll have a better understanding of your coverage and your expected costs for treatments and services after your insurance pays their part. An Advisor can:
Help you choose an insurance plan
Handle your paperwork and insurance filing
Provide Medicare plan recommendations and decision-making
Inform you of what medical services are covered or not
Assist in finding specialists within your network, or get you a gap extension for out-of-network care
Appeal denied coverage
Even if you don’t currently have health insurance, a Healthcare Advisor can work with you and your healthcare facility to create a payment plan that lowers your costs.
End-of-life planning allows you to gain control over your financial and healthcare decisions, as well as informs your family and medical team of your wishes in advance of a situation where you aren’t able to communicate with them yourself.
Although infrequently talked about by healthcare teams, planning for end-of-life care is important, and having the right guidance can ease the stress associated with the process for you and your loved ones. A healthcare advisor can help with:
Hospice and palliative care services
Advance care directives
Laws and regulations are largely embedded in the healthcare system and therefore can influence your care and treatment. But legal jargon can be confusing, intimidating and difficult to navigate.
Luckily, a Healthcare Advisor is well-versed in health-related legal regulations, such as:
Worker’s compensation assistance
Disability filings and review including Social Security Disability
Malpractice and medical error review
Guardianship or conservatorship services
A Health care Advisor is the go-to person for healthcare-related concerns or questions so that you can navigate the healthcare system with ease. In the field of health care advisory, you should make sure your health advisor is a good fit for your situation by asking them the right questions from the start.