What is the role of a Patient Advocate and Health Navigator? How can you help me?
I work directly for you and customize a plan for your specific needs. I play many roles – advocate, liaison, interpreter, project manager, consultant and sometimes diplomat-negotiator. I ensure that health decisions aren’t rushed and help you process what’s happening in a way that builds understanding and leads to decisions you feel good about. I provide an independent perspective that can ease the stress of complex family dynamics. Our partnership is collaborative and considers your circumstances, priorities and wishes. My goal is achieving diagnostic clarity and ensuring that your care is in the best hands. I can support you in making informed decisions about your health, whether simple or complex, and access relevant medical experts to assist. I also refer clients to other patient advocates when appropriate.
Does insurance pay for personal Health Navigation services?
Health insurance does not reimburse for my services. I work directly for you, the client, with the benefit of being independent from both insurance companies and healthcare providers. If you participate in an HSA account, funds may be applied toward reimbursement for personal health navigation services. Contact your plan administrator to inquire. Some Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) pay for independent health navigation services. Check with your benefits administrator to learn more.
Can I retain you as an advocate for another family member?
Yes. Health navigation and patient advocacy services can be requested directly by a client, or by a surrogate decision-maker or other family member concerned about the client’s care and well-being. In such cases, my allegiance is still to the client, even if services are paid for by another family member. I can also conduct fact-finding and research for family members of a prospective client seeking to better understand their loved one’s health challenges.
Health navigation services are available to me as an employee benefit.
How are your services different?
Healthcare navigation services through employer-sponsored benefit plans assist with general inquiries such as finding in-network physicians, accessing patient resources and answering insurance-related questions. As an independent healthcare navigator, I consult with a national network of colleagues and experts in every healthcare-related field to help you access the best possible care. My personalized support can complement your employee benefits and any digital health services you may be using.
How and where do you meet with clients?
In-person meetings, when appropriate with social distancing measures in place, are scheduled at a convenient location or facility, making sure that parking, accessibility and ease of entry are available, especially for anyone in need of mobility care.