10 Things You Should Know About Patient Advocates

  1. Not all Patient Advocates are created equal. Just as when choosing any other professional, you need to be informed about an advocate’s training and experience. For example, past work in a medical field does not necessarily prepare someone to be an effective advocate. You need someone with a proven track record and with the right combination of knowledge and experience in actually advocating for patients. Also learn whether the advocate belongs to professional organizations in the field of patient advocacy. Membership demonstrates a level of dedication and commitment to professional competence, development and ethics.
  2. A truly independent Patient Advocate works for you, not a hospital, HMO or insurance company. While advocates who work for large institutions and corporations may have good intentions, they ultimately must answer to their employers, not to you. At Ohio Patient Advocates, we work for you – and only you. We are not compensated by any medical provider or insurance company.
  3. You are the only person who gets to decide whether you need a Patient Advocate. No doctor, hospital or insurance company has the right to deny you your right to the help of a Patient Advocate.
  4. The patient must be the focus and top priority of a Patient Advocate’s work. A good Patient Advocate spends time listening to you and your loved ones, and works to understand your needs as a patient.
  5. A Patient Advocate does not take over your decision making. You remain in control and will continue to make decisions about your medical care. However, a Patient Advocate can assist you in obtaining the information you need, discussing your options and facilitating your decision making process.
  6. A Patient Advocate must be willing to promise his or her best efforts on your behalf. But beware of any Patient Advocate who promises or guarantees a particular outcome or result.
  7. Confidentiality of your private medical information must be a top priority. Under federal law and ethical considerations, a Patient Advocate must keep your private medical information strictly confidential. Unauthorized disclosure is never permitted.
  8. A Patient Advocate works toward the goal of making your medical care run as smoothly as possible. A good Patient Advocate works cooperatively with your medical providers, is practical and knows how to get things done for the patient. A Patient Advocate is not part of the problem, but is part of your solution.
  9. However, a good Patient Advocate is not afraid to “step on some toes” if that’s what is needed for the patient’s best interests.
  10. A Patient Advocate assists you in making important decisions. However, a Patient Advocate cannot give medical, legal, financial or accounting advice.

Phone: (330) 265.2005 | Toll Free: (866) 798.9327 | Fax: (330) 269.7190
Office: 337 Third Street, N.W. | Canton, Ohio 44702
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