First, we should really get into what a patient advocate is: a patient advocate is a person who provides advocacy, or influence, to help people who need it. In this case it is the patient. A patient advocate is a safeguard for decent patient care. There are many forms of patient advocacy ranging from: support groups and companies, to individuals (such as a healthcare attorney).
Good patient care, along with open and frank communication, should be and often is, the number one priority for health professionals worldwide; however there are times when this sadly is not always delivered. It is at times like this that a patient advocate is extremely useful. Being a patient is extremely stressful and exhausting, commonly there is a lot of new information to take in, as well as the general stress from the healthcare issue. If there is a breakdown in care or communication then the patient is perhaps not best placed to ensure a full recovery; because they are in pain, seriously ill, tired, frightened and trying to absorb a ton of new information; essentially they are vulnerable. It is at a time like this that a healthcare attorney may be the best option.
A healthcare attorney is employed by the patient and is there solely to advocate for the patient. This means that there will be no chance of a conflict of interest. A health care attorney is purely on the side of the patient and has no hidden agenda. Some insurers, and even healthcare facilities, provide patient advocates; however these advocates must follow the rules of their company or facility. Another source of advocates that has been suggested by some are medical professionals, the patient’s doctor or nurse; however this may not always be the best solution if the patient is unhappy with a proposed treatment and in addition to this some medical staff may be worried by having to argue with and advocate against their colleagues. A healthcare attorney, with no conflicts of interest is ideally placed to act solely on behalf of the patient, their client. This cannot be stressed enough.
A healthcare attorney, when acting as a patient advocate, may be available to: attend healthcare appointments, help maintain communication between the patient, care provider and family members, resolve disputes between care provider and patient, potentially assisting by communicating with the patient’s employer if necessary and much more. It is most important to consider that having a healthcare attorney, acting as a patient advocate, can really help to relieve the patient of unnecessary stress, anxiety and help foster a greater understand, of the patient’s, regarding their treatment. Relaxed and happy patients have a greater chance of recovering their health.
So when considering a patient advocate don’t overlook a healthcare attorney. In many cases a healthcare attorney is, arguably, the patient’s best option. Why not speak to a healthcare attorney to see what they can offer?