The healthcare industry in the U.S. is not only expensive but also complicated. The CDC says that about one-third of American families struggle to pay medical bills. Lack of information or misinformation is one reason healthcare services are so expensive for patients. Luckily, you can seek guidance from a healthcare expert through healthcare advocacy.
Here’s how healthcare advocacy will benefit you.
1. Helps You Understand Medications and Facilitate Communication With Your Physicians
The hospital environment can be a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first time seeking healthcare services. You’ll find that most doctors will try to explain medications and test results in the simplest way possible, but you still may not catch up. This happens because of the myriad thoughts of fear and feelings of uncertainty that overcome you when you’re diagnosed with an illness.
For instance, if you went for cancer screening and the results came out positive, there’s a high chance your mind will naturally switch to pilot mode as you process the results. As such, you’ll not understand whatever instructions your doctor gives you after telling you the results.
Lucky for you, a healthcare advocate will have your back. As you make the difficult psychological transition, your healthcare advocate will be your ears and eyes. They’ll handle communication between you and your physicians at the various stages of treatment and recovery.
2. Healthcare Advocates Are Your Advisors
Healthcare advocates will help you make sound decisions void of fear and desperation. These feelings are common after being diagnosed with a serious condition. For instance, after a mammogram, you may receive false-positive results. While in panic mode, you may immediately start preparing for surgery instead of getting a second test to confirm the results. A health care advocate will help you avoid making wrong decisions and indecisions when faced with a health care crisis.
3. Healthcare Advocacy Helps You Settle Disputes with Your Healthcare Insurer or Provider
Sadly, your healthcare insurer may fall short in your time of need. Although most good insurers will honor your coverage terms, some may take you through circles, particularly if you’re not well informed. Such insurers may find loopholes in your coverage to back out or only pay a smaller percentage of your medical bill. Given that you’re already in a vulnerable state health-wise, you may not have the luxury to go back and forth with your insurer. But your healthcare advocate will.
Professionals in healthcare advocacy understand the legal complexities involved in medical insurance. Hence, they’ll fight for your rights so you get fair compensation as outlined in your coverage. This way, you’ll get the treatment that you need without extended delays.
Besides handling insurance disputes, healthcare advocates also mediate disputes with your healthcare provider. Through patient care advocacy, they ensure that you’re treated right in the healthcare facility. They also review your medical bills to ensure a hospital doesn’t inflate your bill. Overbilling may happen because of errors of omission or commission from the hospital.
4. Health Care Advocates Offer Life Care Planning and Elder Care Planning Services
Eldercare solutions come in handy for seniors, more so those that are fighting a chronic condition or illness. Healthcare experts say that around 80% of seniors live with at least one chronic disease, while 68% suffer from two or more. This makes life care planning a priority amongst the seniors. Thankfully, healthcare advocates are at their beck and call. They help an elderly patient delegate Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Power of Attorney for Property.
Navigating America’s complex health system can be challenging when you don’t have enough information or guardianship. You have to deal with health insurers, hospitals, and pharmacies. You need someone who will look out for you so you don’t get shortchanged by the system. Luckily, you can utilize healthcare advocacy services and get an experienced healthcare advocate to help you navigate the healthcare system.