Why do I even need a patient advocate when I will have one if I am in the hospital? And, don’t insurance companies and even doctor’s offices provide them?
Patient Advocates who work for others may find themselves in difficult situations when they simply can’t disregard the interests of their employer. Imagine, you are in a hospital and the patient advocate knows that there may be a better place for you to be getting care. What would happen if they told you that? What if they thought that you should seek legal advice for something that happened there? Could they tell you that? What would happen if a case manager (patient advocate) for an insurance company thought it would be in your best interest to receive a very expensive procedure, and one that, for various reasons, isn’t generally covered by the carrier? How many case managers would really fight for you to get the procedure, knowing that the carrier they work for frowns upon the particular procedure? Also, many of the types of issues patients need help with are very involved, and the type of help you might be able to get from your doctor’s office just couldn’t be that extensive. We have no reason to look out for any interests other than what is best for you. And, we help you figure that out.
Will I have a contract with you?
Yes. We want to make sure that we understand exactly what you want help with. We will have a contract that details the services we are to provide, and how we will bill you. We don’t like surprises either.
What is your service area?
We have a small office in Ludlow, MA where we welcome meetings with clients. We are usually able to help clients in person, throughout Massachusetts. We are willing to meet with you at a hospital, doctor’s office, community center, or other mutually agreeable location. If you do not reside in MA, but still wish to have our assistance, we can work with you via a conference call, skype, or other appropriate technology.
What are your fees?
We serve our community by keeping fees as low as possible, and we use a sliding fee schedule. In addition, the hourly rate or project fee varies depending upon the specific services you need. Please contact us even if you don’t think you can afford help.
Will my doctors talk to you?
Yes, but they will require your permission. We have a HIPAA release that we will ask you to sign so that your providers will have the legal right to share your Protected Health Information with us. Some providers may prefer that you sign their own forms. In addition, we will ask you to sign our privacy form, so we know what information you want us to share, and with whom.