How to Choose the Right Healthcare Advisor



August 28, 2020

If you choose to work with a Caribou Healthcare Advisor, you can rest assured that you are in good hands. All Healthcare Advisors have been thoroughly vetted and have a long list of happy clients that they’ve worked with in the past.

But every patient is different. Your situation, even if you have the same condition as a past client, is unique. That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions to your Advisor in your first session to make an informed decision about whether they are the right person to see you through the healthcare challenge you’re faced with.

The goal is to work with someone that you respect and trust to advocate for your health. You also want it to be someone that you know has the right experience and can provide the services you need.

Consider asking the following questions to get a better sense if a specific Healthcare Advisor is right for you:

1. Have you handled other cases similar to mine? What is your education and work history? 

Having an understanding of your Healthcare Advisor's work experience, education level and previous experience with a patient similar to your situation will be a good indicator if they are able to provide the services you need. This will help you determine if you’ll be able to develop that trust and confidence level needed in a Healthcare Advisor-patient relationship. 

2. Do you specialize in a particular area within the healthcare system? Did you spend time working in the health care industry?

Some Advisors specialize in insurance assistance, medical bill reviewing or helping you understand or research your diagnosis and treatment plan. Depending on your situation, there are services you may require more than others. Therefore, ask your Healthcare Advisor if they specialize in the services you need. 

Some health advisors come from backgrounds in nursing, medicine, or pharmacy. Depending on your situation, you might find working with someone who has a healthcare industry background beneficial.

3. What do you charge for your services?

The cost of a Health care Advisor varies from geography and on their expertise level. Typically, Advisors will charge an hourly rate or project-based fees. 

4. How long will it take you to complete the services I need?

Because most Healthcare Advisors charge an hourly rate for their services, it's important to know the estimated time to complete the services you need. An Advisor will be honest when giving you their estimate, but know that it could change. A Healthcare Advisor will always notify you if extra work is required. 

5. Do you have references?

Asking about references is an important question to ask your Healthcare Advisor. Contacting a Healthcare Advisor’s references will give you a better understanding of their abilities, the types of services they provide, and the quality of their work.

6. Do you have specific working hours? 

Some Healthcare Advisors will be on call 24/7, while others will have specified hours of availability.

What makes a good Healthcare Advisor?

A Healthcare Advisor will take on the role of being your primary health advocate. For that reason, there are several skills they should have to successfully provide you with the care and resources you need. 

Although all Healthcare Advisors will have a different education level, professional experience and specialization, consider this list of skills to look for before hiring a Healthcare Advisor: 

Strong communication skills 

Having strong communication skills is essential for Healthcare Advisors as they need to be able to listen to you, understand your concerns and share that information with your healthcare team to determine the best solution. 

A Healthcare Advisor also needs to be able to effectively communicate to you to help you understand your diagnosis and your treatment options. 

Good understanding and knowledge of medical terminology 

Healthcare Advisors must have a good understanding and knowledge of medical terminology. This is necessary as they need to use this knowledge to communicate effectively with your doctor or health care team.

A Healthcare Advisor also needs to be able to follow what is being said during your appointments and be highly knowledgeable of your health condition. Knowledge of medical terminology is also required to be able to translate things to you that you don't understand. 

Able to effectively navigate medical costs 

Over 100 million Americans (or 1 in every 3) are economically insecure. This increases their risk of not being able to afford medical care or treatment if a complex health condition occurs. 

Navigating the medical cost system is the most important skill to consider when dealing with insurance concerns, medical bill issues, and financial insecurity related to your medical care. A Healthcare Advisor should feel confident determining different insurance options that would work best for you, identifying errors on your medical bills and even finding financial assistance programs to reduce your medical expenses. 

Can empower patients and increase confidence levels

With the help of your Healthcare Advisor, you’ll have much more knowledge and a better understanding of your diagnosis, your medical procedures, insurance coverage and treatment options. Knowledge is power, and with the knowledge gained from a Healthcare Advisor, you’ll be much more empowered and confident to take control of your health decisions and be better equipped to make the best choices for yourself. A Healthcare Advisor wants you to feel this way while you work with them and also as you’re out advocating for yourself as a patient.