Make a Difference as a Patient Advocate
What is a Patient Advocate?
Patient advocates come in a variety of specialties. No matter the field, their primary job is to ensure that patients receive the care they need and stand up for patients’ rights. Basically, patient advocacy encompasses any job that is for a patient’s benefit.
Patient advocates can be government agencies, non-profits, or individual healthcare workers. For the purpose of this article, we will assume “patient advocate” is an individual.
There are 5 main types of patient advocacy:
Medical Assistance: Work closely with patients in hospitals providing medical assistance. May help diagnose or treat disorders. May accompany patient to appointments. Must have previous medical experience/medical knowledge. Good job for retired doctors and nurses.
Insurance Assistance: Assist with navigating the confusing world of health insurance. Make sure patients have the necessary coverage. Deal with insurance companies on behalf of the patient and/or family.
Home Health Assistance: Assist patients who at their homes. Similar to nursing assistants or home health aides. May perform therapy or rehabilitation services as well as daily living assistance.
Elder and Geriatric Assistance: May work in a patient’s home, assisted-living or nursing home facilities. Similar to home health assistance, but focused on the elderly.
Legal Assistance: Assists patients with legal troubles. May help file malpractice claims, worker’s compensation, or disability. Must have prior legal experience. Licensed attorney preferred.