The Role of a Healthcare Advisor



August 31, 2020

A Healthcare Advisor is the go-to person for anything healthcare-related.

The profession (commonly referred to as Patient Advocacy) emerged from the need to provide support and guidance to patients and their families.

What is a Healthcare Advisor?

A Healthcare Advisor is a professional who helps patients and their families navigate the complex and confusing healthcare system. They guide people through many healthcare situations, such as reviewing their medical bills, generating treatment options, sorting out health insurance claims, and much more. 

Healthcare advisory can come in many shapes and forms, but any health advisor should know the healthcare system inside and out to make sure you can make informed decisions related to your care.

What do Healthcare Advisors do?  

Every patient will have different healthcare needs. Healthcare Advisor offers many different types of healthcare-related services, but they will focus on your specific situation and needs. Here are a few examples:

  • Research and explain your diagnosis and treatment plan

  • Review and negotiate your hospital medical bills 

  • Ask questions to your doctor or healthcare team to get the necessary information you need to make appropriate healthcare decisions

  • Prepare you for appointments, and attend them with you (virtually or in-person)

As you can see, these services include helping with decision making in areas like your finances and medical bills, health insurance, legal assistance, and end-of-life care, among other areas of your healthcare. Depending on the situation of the specific patient, there are countless areas in which a Healthcare Advisor could work with you. 

Finances and Medical Bills 

  • 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 Insurance 

  • 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

Legal Assistance 

  • Worker’s compensation assistance

  • Disability filings and review including Social Security Disability

  • Malpractice and medical error review

  • Guardianship or conservatorship services

End of Life Planning  

  • Living wills

  • Pain management

  • Hospice and palliative care services 

  • Advance care directives 

  • Establishing guardianship 

  • Legal arrangements 

Care Coordination

  • Generate treatment options

  • Seek second opinions

  • Find clinical trials

  • Improve communication with doctors & nurses

  • Prepare for appointments

Hiring a Healthcare Advisor 

Having someone by your side who takes the time to understand your best interests and who will advocate on your behalf is a great way to be sure that you are receiving the best treatment, care and services. A Healthcare Advisor understands healthcare and is committed to you and only you! That way, as a patient, you can focus on your health. 

Unlike a hospital appointed advocate, a private Healthcare Advisor will provide the necessary services that are within your best interest. Their loyalty is to you. Although they can be resourceful, a hospital-appointed advocate’s loyalty is to their employer (ie. the hospital).

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Healthcare Advisor 

There is never a bad time to consider working with a Healthcare Advisor. People find it especially helpful when they want:

  1. More engagement in their care (ie. better outcomes and treatment options)

  2. To get credible and trustworthy information

  3. To eliminate medical errors

  4. To sort out medical bills and avoid medical debt

  5. Improved communication with their doctor and healthcare teams

Costs to hire a Healthcare Advisor 

Unlike many healthcare services, having a Healthcare Advisor is not covered by your insurance. Therefore, it’s paid for out-of-pocket. 

However, unlike when accessing healthcare services from your insurance company, your only limit when working with a Healthcare Advisor is the amount you are willing to pay. This means that there are no restrictions for the amount of support you wish to receive.

The cost of a Healthcare Advisor can vary, ranging from $100-$350 per hour and depends on the types of services needed, the Advisor’s credentials and experiences, and your location.

Choosing Your Healthcare Advisor

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.

Nonetheless, every patient is different. For that reason, you still want to know if your assigned Advisor has the right experience and can provide the services you need. Ask them these questions during your first free session:

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

  2. Do you specialize in a particular area within the healthcare system?

  3. What do you charge for your services?

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

  5. Do you have references?

  6. Do you have specific working hours?