Medical advocacy is comprised of services to individuals and/or families that promote health activities, as well as creating channels of communication for accessing health care services within the community. They undertake the process of supporting a patient’s rights, promoting healthcare initiatives, and embracing capacity-building in the healthcare arena.
There is no question that this ‘go-between’ has become necessary due to the increasing complexity of the American healthcare and insurance systems. Medicine has moved towards a ‘patient-centered model’ that promotes the collaboration of all stakeholders in the healthcare process. An exceptional approach to the delivery of medical services but that does not mean that the average American understands how to maneuver through the system.
There is certainly no shortage of advocates in the medical field. These may include ombudsmen, patient representatives, educators, and more – and they can be found in a variety of settings such as hospitals, community health centers, and online.
Medical insurance advocates perform services associated with navigating your health insurance. This specific part of the overall health system is one of the most challenging for the average patient to internalize and understand. Often, people do not pay much attention to their insurance benefits until they are ill and unable to comprehend the extent and limitations of their plan.
Often when you are ill your attention (and your supporters’ attention) is generally focused on getting better. That includes everything from tracking your medication, doctor’s visits, nutritional input, and exercise. Following your doctors’ orders can consume a patient and their family as everyone works to restore the health of the patient. Getting a handle on the ‘fine print’ of your insurance policy and coverage may be more than you or your loved ones have the time and energy for.
This has led to the development of an entirely new profession – medical insurance advocacy. People who work in this field have developed an expertise in health insurance policies and benefits.