What exactly is a "medical advocate?"

    I am a personal/legal advoate working for a client I ecently had to assume temporary POA for due to his health status.  He is currently hospitalized.  Wehave discussed his care at length and what I should do if I should be faced with deciding on his fate. We have reached a fair agreement.   Is this something that should be put in writing and notarized for my protection as hs personal/legal/ and now medical advocate? We are both concerned with this matter and I have spent an enormous amount of $ already.  Answers??

    0  Views: 2836 Answers: 1 Posted: 12 years ago

    1 Answer

    Any person diagnosed with a serious illness have a Medical Advocate outside of the immediate family to help research and inform, and to interact with the doctors and monitor the ongoing process. In addition to being the patient's "mouthpiece," the Advocate must be highly studied in both the illness and in the treatment. It is essential that the Advocate understand each and every medication, including medications that are not part of the "Standard Protocol" but have shown positive results in trials. This knowledge is essential if the Advocate is to help to find a "cutting-edge" doctor, and to cut through any "baloney" that might be presented by those practitioners who simply do not possess the cutting-edge knowledge.

    A true patient advocate is difficult to find.  Finding one who has the experience and skills you need will be even harder.

    Volunteers can be wonderful, and the price may be right, but they often don't have the experience you need to be sure you're getting the best care you can get.

    Your best bet will be to find a private patient advocate.  These advocates charge a fee for their services, but they are definitely worth the cost, even if it's only for the confidence you will have about getting the best care.

    Here is some basic information about finding, interviewing and choosing a private patient advocate.

    Locate a patient advocate.

    While private patient advocacy is a growing career, patient advocates are still not easy to find.

    One website, AdvoConnection, provides a searchable directory of advocates who offer a variety of kinds of help to patients and caregivers, such as medical, hospital bedside assistance, insurance denials or claims, billing reviews and more. Search for an advocate by the location of the patient and the service you need.  There is no charge to use the site.

    Another website offers a list of advocates who belong to an organization called NAHAC, the National Association of Health Advocacy Consultants. Use of this site is also free.

    If you just cannot find the name and contact information of an advocate on either list, do a web search using "patient advocate" and your location.

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