Senior care, particularly for a loved one in the hospital, can be times of high stress on many fronts. Most often, the hospital stay can begin fairly smoothly. You’re happy with the staff, and are even more at ease because you were able to catch the doctor on his rounds to the latest updates. But then you realize that maybe the nursing staff didn’t get the updates you’re doctor told you. As your frustration ramps up, you realize it’s time talk to someone you can rely on for getting the right answers. As such, your options include a couple of ways to proceed to find a representative who can be an advocate for you and your loved one.
Should you use the hospital’s ‘Patient Advocate’?
It might not seem like the best way to go, after all you’re looking for a quasi-independent representative…not someone on the hospital’s payroll. Generally though, these staffers are trained and members of the American Hospital Association.
Using a ‘private-pay’ advocate.
This choice will cost you for the service, but you’re likely to receive someone with a lot of experience in areas like:
* Medical Assistance: familiar with diagnosis and treatment options
* Insurance Assistance: knows the ins-and-outs of the paper chase with insurance companies; there to fight claim issues.
* Elder/Geriatric Assistance: a lot of expertise in Medicare and hospice services.
* Legal help: provides oversight on medical errors that may be occurring.
Overall, the paid advocate can be a welcomed ‘third party’ to not only provide patient advocacy, but help track all the medical bills.
Source: About.com Patient Empowerment