"These days, even a person well versed in medical lingo can become overwhelmed by the complexity of the health care system. That is why many patients and their families who can afford it are turning to patient advocates for help. These professionals, who often have nursing or health care experience, can help a patient research treatment plans, sort out insurance claims and even accompany a patient on doctor’s visits. They can frequently open doors to specialists that a patient may not have access to.
Patient advocates have been around for decades, but in the last few years the profession has gained more momentum and acceptance, said Laura Weil, director of the 30-year-old Health Advocacy Program at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. “Now everyone seems to agree that you need help navigating a fragmented and technical health care system that is not always friendly,” Ms. Weil said."
Before you pay anyone a cent, though, ask some pointed questions. Find out what the advocate’s credentials are and ask for references. Then talk money: find out how long they think it will take to resolve your problem and what the cost might total. Ask them for a written estimate, as well. Source: After a Diagnosis, Someone to Help Point the Way, The New York Times, September 11, 2009.
"Les Funtleyder, author of "Health Care Investing," warns that patients should beware. He says there is no licensing or accreditation for patient advocates and no actual qualifications are required. "You see this at the beginning of almost any new industry," says Funtleyder. "There are always good ones and bad ones, and hopefully the bad ones get weeded out." Source: The booming new profession of patient advocate, Marketplace, American Public Media, September 26, 2012.
And don't forget that we all need to be advocates for people in pain including; •"Knowing the rights of people with pain and having the courage to speak up about those rights. •Becoming educated about issues surrounding appropriate treatment of pain. •Increasing visibility of issues related to pain in your community. •Building a network of pain advocates that will help you increase your voice and spread your message. •Reaching out to people who are influential in raising awareness and determining pain-related policy, such as journalists or elected officials, as well as those in the greater community who will benefit most by learning about their rights to pain care. •Serving as a voice for people in pain through your professional organizations and through research."
Source: What can you Do? In the Face of Pain.
MediBid is an online marketplace which is about quality, choice, and value. Many insurance companies show you no more than whether your doctor is “in-network” or not. MediBid allows you to see the training, education and experience of the doctor before you make your selection.
When to Say No to Your Doctor
Every time you walk into a physician's office, you run the risk of overtreatment: Tests you don't need, medications that are ineffective (or dangerous), procedures that cause more problems than they solve. In many cases the best thing for your health is to do nothing.
We help patients and providers make smarter, more confident treatment choices.
We bring clarity to healthcare decisions.
Advocates for Fibromyalgia Funding, Treatment, Education and Research
AFFTER (Advocates for Fibromyalgia Funding, Treatment, Education and Research) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization run by volunteers, most of whom have fibromyalgia. We have a solid organization in place with a professional board of directors and a strong medical advisory committee, including nationally and internationally known researchers.
This site provides access to patients advocates, patient navigators, case managers, elder care advocates, home health, medical billing advocates, legal and other forms of patient assistants who may be able to help you or your loved ones manage those many health care challenges
Alliance of Professional Health Advocates
If you are a patient navigator, advocate, case manager, health coach, eldercare, birthing or other health care assistant - or are considering a career as any form of health advocate, please take a look at our Alliance membership site which provides you with assistance to build your clientele and business, including helping patients find you to hire you. We support your business knowledge needs and help you start and grow your private, independent advocacy practice.
The Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) is a national, non-profit amputee consumer educational organization representing people who have experienced amputation or are born with limb differences. The ACA includes individual amputees, amputee education and support groups for amputees, professionals, family members and friends of amputees, amputation or limb loss related agencies, and organizations.
The mission of Avoid Medical Errors is to help you to stay healthy and to avoid becoming the victim of a medical error. You will receive critical information and tips to teach you, as a healthcare consumer, how to ask questions, be empowered, and to seek safe health care.
California Office of the Patient Advocate
Our site will give you tools to get the most out of your medical care, including a Report Card on the top HMOs and medical groups in California. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions about your health care and to become your own best advocate.
Canada - Patients Come First
By working together, we can make Canada a world leader in giving Canadians access to innovative new medicines and vaccines to prevent and treat a wide range of diseases. The Rx&D International Report on Access to Medicines looked at the accessibility of medicines available in Canada and compared the finding to 24 other countries. The results showed Canada ranked 20th out of 25, next to countries like Turkey and Iceland.
Canada - Timely Medical Alternatives
In 2003, Timely Medical Alternatives Inc. was formed to help Canadians, on long medical waiting lists, to take personal responsibility for their own medical care and Leave the queue.
The need for private medical services is thriving in Canada. Timely Medical Alternatives can easily accommodate your needs for private medical services by providing you with options, referrals to hospitals, clinics and diagnostic imaging facilities.
CancerConnect is a comprehensive online resource center and social network for cancer patients and their caregivers. Since 1996, it has been providing best in class, disease-specific patient information, covering relevant topics such as latest treatments, management of side effects, clinical trials, and support groups.
The model of Patient Advocacy that we have developed in our office is one that we believe can be adapted and replicated in medical practices throughout the country. We have learned a lot through trial-and-error since 1996 and we want to pass on to others information and resources to make it easier to emotionally and spiritually encourage people dealing with illness, especially those facing cancer.
Caregiver Action Network
The Caregiver Action Network is the nation’s leading family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for the than 65 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age.
CarePages help families stay connected, informed, and supported. When a loved one is hospitalized or receiving care it can be difficult to communicate. With CarePages, updates are shared via email automatically and visitors can leave messages for the patient and family on the Web page. CarePages give families an emotional lift that is hard to deliver in any other way.
Free, personalized websites that support and connect loved ones during critical illness, treatment and recovery.
Caring Connections, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, is a national consumer and community engagement initiative to improve care at the end of life, supported by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Center for Medical Consumers
The Center for Medical Consumers, was founded with ambitious goals. One was to provide access to accurate, science-based information so that consumers could participate more meaningfully in medical decisions that often have profound effects upon their health. Another was to hold medicine more accountable by revealing that much of the treatment advice proffered by doctors and other health professionals is based on little or no evidence of safety and effectiveness.
Check Your Hospital Billing
There are hospital billing advocates who can help you find overcharges and also hidden charges on your hospital bill. The billing advocates can save you thousands of dollars from your exorbitant hospital bill.
Compassion & Choices
Compassion & Choices is a nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. As a national organization with over 60 chapters and 30,000 members, we help patients and their loved ones face the end of life with calm facts and choices of action during a difficult time.
Vitamins, herbs, and other supplements are not regularly tested by any government organization. Only ConsumerLab.com continually evaluates nutritional supplements in a laboratory environment. It also investigates problems with drugs.
There is no question that one of the most disturbing events in life is to receive a difficult health diagnosis for one's self, or a loved one...But what is far more important is that we take responsibility for our own health, and our own decision-making.
Every Patient's Advocate
Patient empowerment, advocacy, medical consumerism and tools to navigate the dysfunction of American health care.
Families USA is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
Forest Moon's goals are to reduce the anxiety burdening the cancer community and to cultivate within each individual a greater sense of control, enhanced well-being and renewed purpose.
Friends' Health Connection
What began in 1988 as a one-to-one support group for those facing medical issues has grown into a thriving national network of health and wellness services. Friends'' Health Connection enhances mind, body and soul through our personalized support network and dynamic educational and motivational programs.
The Marketplace is designed to help you find health insurance that fits your budget, with less hassle.
Welcome to HealthinAging.org, created by the American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging (FHA), to provide consumers and caregivers with up-to-date information on health and aging.
HMOHelp - California
There are several things you can do if you have a problem with your health plan. First, contact your health plan to file a complaint. (A complaint is also called a grievance or an appeal.) You can file a complaint with your health plan over the phone or in writing. You may also be able to file a complaint on your health plan's website. If your health problem is urgent, or if you already filed a complaint and are not satisfied with your health plan's decision, contact the Help Center at the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). An urgent problem is a serious threat to your health. You can also file a complaint with the Help Center if your HMO does not make a decision within 30 days.
In the Face of Pain
In the Face of Pain® is an online pain advocacy resource brought to you by Purdue Pharma L.P. In the Face of Pain provides inspiration, pain-related news, downloadable materials and tools to inform and empower people with pain, caregivers, health care professionals and other concerned individuals to take action and advocate for appropriate and effective pain care.
Lotsa Helping Hands
Seeing how earnestly friends wanted to help, and juggling the difficulty of organizing their assistance, we designed Lotsa Helping Hands with the understanding of how to bring together a variety of social circles and what a resulting community like this would need.
Nearly every major pharmaceutical company operates something called a patient assistance program, which allows them to provide their drugs free of charge to anyone who meets certain income eligibility requirements. MEDBANK serves as the vital link between you and the patient assistance program.
Medical Billing Advocates of America
Medical Billing Advocates of America is committed to educating and arming the public with the knowledge they need to fight this battle and win the war against escalating healthcare costs.
Medical Refund Service
Medical Refund $ervice, Inc. exists to help both consumers and medical service providers correct medical billing errors, promote fair billing practices, and stop price-gouging the uninsured.
Medicare Rights Center (MRC) is the largest independent source of health care information and assistance in the United States for people with Medicare. Founded in 1989, MRC helps older adults and people with disabilities get good, affordable health care.
MyLifeLine.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that encourages cancer patients and caregivers to create free, customized websites. Our mission is to empower patients to build an online support community of family and friends to foster connection, inspiration, and healing.
National Alliance for Caregiving
The National Alliance for Caregiving is dedicated to providing support to family caregivers and the professionals who help them and to increasing public awareness of issues facing family caregivers.
National Partnership for Women & Families
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that uses public education and advocacy to promote fairness in the workplace, quality health care, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.
National Patient Advocate Foundation
National Patient Advocate Foundation is a national non-profit organization providing the patient voice in improving access to, and reimbursement for, high-quality healthcare through regulatory and legislative reform at the state and federal levels.
NeedyMeds is a 501(3)(c) non-profit with the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or healthcare costs. The information at NeedyMeds is available anonymously and free of charge.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance brings together America''s pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or private program that''s right for them.
Patient Advocacy Resources
This resource guide has been created to assist consumers in becoming advocates for their own health. The world of medicine is undergoing incredible changes in methods of treatment as well as the process by which care is delivered to the consumer. Becoming informed and working as a partner with health care providers helps to insure that the best possible treatment and outcome will be achieved.
Patient Advocate For You
It's difficult to navigate the healthcare system. We trust that everything will be done that should be done. You need someone to be there to assure that your information is correct and that everyone is talking. Now you can hire someone who knows the system and will coordinate your care with you in mind.
Patient Advocate Foundation
The Process is Simple. Patient Advocate Foundation's Patient Services provides patients with arbitration, mediation and negotiation to settle issues with access to care, medical debt, and job retention related to their illness.
PA provides health care, employee benefit and risk management services with specialized expertise in administering; designing and managing employer sponsored health plans.
Patients Out of Time
Patients Out of Time is a patient advocacy organization; we therefore have a universal constituency. We support the rights of patients to have a legal and safe access to the therapeutic use of cannabis.
The Planetree model of care is a patient-centered, holistic approach to healthcare, promoting mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and physical healing. It empowers patients and families through the exchange of information and encourages healing partnerships with caregivers. It seeks to maximize positive healthcare outcomes by integrating optimal medical therapies and incorporating art and nature into the healing environment.
RN Patient Advocates
Our mission is to empower people in their health care through advocacy, education and guidance through the health care system.
Patient assistance programs are run by pharmaceutical companies to provide free medications to people who cannot afford to buy their medicine. RxAssist offers a comprehensive database of these patient assistance programs, as well as practical tools, news, and articles so that health care professionals and patients can find the information they need. All in one place.
RxHope is exactly what its name implies...a helping hand to people in need in obtaining critical medications that they would normally have trouble affording. We act as your advocate in making the patient assistance program journey easier and faster by supplying vital information and help.
SeventyK represents approximately 70,000 children, adolescent and young adult patients in this country who are diagnosed with cancer every year.
Stupid Cancer is a non-profit organization that empowers young adults affected by cancer through innovative and award-winning programs and services. We are the nation's largest support community for this underserved population and serve as a bullhorn for the young adult cancer movement.
The booming new profession of patient advocate
When William Roach was diagnosed with brain cancer last year, he knew he needed to make important decisions -- and he wanted someone who could help him make them. "It's not hard to find people who are sympathetic," says Roach. "It is hard to find people that are both sympathetic and can provide information that can actually be helpful."
The George Washington Institute for Spirituality & Health
The mission of GWish is to foster more compassionate and caring healthcare systems and restore the heart and humanity to healthcare. We do this by developing education programs supported by scholarly and research-based initiatives which train physicians and other healthcare professionals to more fully integrate spirituality in their professional work with patients.
The Patient Advocate
Present your 'shoebox' full of paperwork to the Patients Advocate. She will organize it, discard what is not needed, keep what is, and identify what needs to be paid, and what needs to be contested, and what should be filed.
Vital Options International
Vital Options International is a not-for-profit cancer communications, support, and advocacy organization with a mission, to facilitate a global cancer dialogue.
Well Spouse Association
Well Spouse is a national, not for profit membership organization which gives support to wives, husbands, and partners of the chronically ill and/or disabled. Well Spouse support groups meet monthly.