What Makes People Search For a Patient Advocate?

Daughter talking with elderly mother

What Makes People Search For a Patient Advocate?

 As patient advocates, we know that people look for a patient advocate because they are confused, overwhelmed, and stressed by the current situation of their or their loved one’s health.
They often search for someone to help advocate for them because they feel as if they have been mistreated or treated unfairly and their health is suffering because of it. Typically they hit some type of roadblock in their health journey.

What Are the Common Roadblocks?

A Broken Healthcare System

Missed test results, poor quality of care, misdiagnosis, and lack of care coordination. These are some of the common roadblocks in our medical system that will result in poor care to an individual. We know that our medical system is broken and in the past 12 months with the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have the spotlight on these broken systems. 

Lack of Communication

Lack of understanding due to medical jargon or the complexities of health problems is really an ongoing problem in the healthcare setting. As patient advocates, we deal daily with bridging the gaps for our clients as they get confused easily and do not fully understand the things occurring in their current treatments, conditions, and plans of care.  

Financial Concerns

Insurance coverage issues, money for copays, deductibles, or financial hardships.
Do you understand your Insurance bill? Do you ask for an itemized bill from your provider?
These are 2 things that often cause confusion, therefore causing individuals to pay their bills quickly without fully understanding what it means. As patient advocates, we often see that individuals pay their bills and once we get involved they actually get credit because there was an appeal process that they were not unaware of. 

Personal Life Events are Unmanageable

If you have more than one individual sick in your family. You have responsibilities for your family and you’re not sure how you can take care of it all. Sick parents or distance between loved ones.
Most individuals have busy lives and having a sickness themselves or a sick family member will increase their stress. As patient advocates, we see this in every client. Once we start supporting them, get involved in care coordination and organization, the stress becomes much more tolerable and most of the time we reach a plan that is managed with a supportive team approach. 

Emotional Overwhelmed with the Illness

The terminal or rare disease that causes you emotional distress. Loneliness, grief, anxiety, and separation often add stress to your normal decision-making strategies.
As patient advocates, we know that whether you or your loved one is fighting a health battle, the stress is overwhelming and is something that you will deal with for a long time. Support is the only way to get through it.