Why do I need a healthcare advocate?
During periods of illness it can be extraordinarily difficult to consider all the aspects of getting better. An independent health advocate is totally focused on you and your healthcare needs to help you and your family fill the gap between you and our complex medical system. Our goal is to ensure that you can be as healthy as possible meeting your health goals.
Do you accept health insurance for any of your services?
No, private, independent patient advocates is not covered by health insurance including Medicare. Our services are paid directly by the client. My expertise is delivered to you unbiased, tailored specifically to your particular needs without the influence of a for-profit organization’s reimbursement framework. You may be assured that my allegiance is exclusively to my clients and my highest priority is to deliver exceptional services to you.
Do you offer medical care or prescribe medication?
Health Advocacy Services does not provide direct, hands-on health care, medical diagnosis, or treatment of any type and our services are not an attempt to practice medicine or nursing. Consultation with Health Advocate Services is not a substitute for the consultation and care of physicians or other members of the health care team.
What is the process of working with you?
The first step is to schedule a free telephone consultation so that we can mutually understand your needs and how we can best meet them. If we agree to work together, Health Advocate Services will meet with you for an in-depth assessment and then create a working plan to set out the parameters of our services, goals and the estimated cost. This plan will serve as the guideline for services and achievement of goals. The plan may be revised and extended if your needs and goals change.
Why pay for a private independent advocate when hospitals and insurance companies offer advocates for free?
The advocates or patient navigators provided by hospitals or insurance companies generally have an allegiance to the respective agencies that pay them, NOT you. A private, independent patient advocate is solely focused on providing the best outcomes to their clients. We do work closely with both the hospital and insurance company to be leverage services as appropriate.
My doctor is wonderful and known for providing exceptional care. Why would I need to hire a private patient advocate?
Even the best doctors do not have the time to spend on individual patients to answer questions, explain diagnoses and treatment. Often important information is not clearly communicated and outcomes can be undermined. Hiring a private advocate will provide you with the time, information, and support you need to make the best decisions about your care.
Where will we meet?
We will meet where you are most comfortable — your home, office, hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, doctor’s office, or other place of your choice. If you prefer or if you live outside of the Wilmington and you do not want me to travel to you, we can meet via telephone or videoconference using Skype.
Will my healthcare advocate make decisions for me?
Our goals is to help you make your own decisions. We will provide you with the tools so that you can make informed decisions based on your and/or your loved ones’ wishes, needs, goals, and values.
What will my doctor or medical care team think about me having a patient advocate?
Doctors and medical care teams welcome meeting with and involving patient advocates as part of their patients’ care. Their patients have been better prepared for appointments, ensued better discussions, and were more understanding of their doctor’s instructions due to my advocacy services. Appointments with doctors become more productive and streamlined. While some physicians may not be familiar with working with a private patient advocate, we will answer any questions they may have about our services.
What is the charge for your advocacy services?
The services are billed on an hourly basis. The amount is different for health support and insurance navigation. For ongoing services we may arrange a retainer arrangement. The initial assessment generally costs about $250. Travel costs are billed as a pass through expense.
Do you have regular office hours or are you on call?
While our regular business hours are 8-6 Monday through Friday, we do understand that illness does not take a lunch break. We can make arrangements to meet your needs outside these hours.
Does your insurance navigation service include the entire medical claims process?
Yes, we will submit your claims, track the payments, pay the doctors and other medical providers and submit any appeals to ensure that you get all reimbursements that are owed to you. We manage your accounts so that cash flow is maximized to your benefit. Comprehensive, clear reports are included to give you the comfort that we have done our job. This service is available even once your health has stabilized.
Can Health Advocate Services manage the health insurance billing/payment for the rest of the family?
Yes, we can manage the entire scope of medical insurance for the family, which makes the process simpler, since often the plan features such as deductibles are integrated
Will Health Advocate Service perform a retrospective review of our medical claims history?
Ensuring that historical payments have been correct and have not missed any reimbursement opportunities is a key aspect of what we do to assist our clients manage their healthcare experience.
Will Health Advocate Services manage my medical/insurance bills even if I am able to manage them myself and have not had any problems with the insurance company?
Health Advocate Services will take care all aspects of managing your health insurance from researching and purchasing plans to paying and tracking claims and coordinating with other household bill administration. We will make arrangements with your banks as appropriate.