First things first. What is an advocate?
An independent patient advocate is a trained professional who helps guide you (or your loved one) through the healthcare system. They go by many names—patient advocates, care managers, nurse navigators, to name a few—but they’re all experts in one thing: helping people. Health advocates on Solace operate as independents, meaning they work for you, not for an insurance company or a hospital. Your advocate will always have your best interests (and best outcomes) at heart.
No matter what they’re called, all advocates work toward the same goal: helping you get through your healthcare journey. From screening and diagnosis to treatment and follow-up care, an advocate can help you with every step of that journey. In fact, patient advocates can help you with almost anything—solving a billing problem, sitting with you daily during a hospital stay, or helping you understand your doctor’s instructions and knowing the right questions to ask.
Who needs a patient advocate?
Anyone going through a health event can benefit from an advocate. You don’t have to be experiencing a crisis situation to benefit from an advocate’s help, either; advocates on Solace work with a huge range of patients. You might have been recently diagnosed with a disease or managing a chronic illness. You might be looking to start a family or need support during a pregnancy. You might need help managing care for an aging or elderly loved one.
The U.S. healthcare system is immensely complex and frustrating to understand. Fundamentally, if you’re engaging with the health care system in any way, a patient advocate can advocate for you and help make your path forward a little easier.
How do patient advocates help?
Advocates on Solace are nurses, physicians, survivors, and experience-driven experts who use their years of knowledge to solve problems and make your healthcare experience as smooth and cohesive as possible. In numerous studies, they’ve been shown to improve healthcare outcomes for their clients.
As anyone who’s experienced a medical emergency can attest, the U.S. healthcare system is confusingly complex. Patient advocates are familiar with insurance webs and health care protocols, and it’s their mission to help you understand and navigate your health. From the administrative maze of filing insurance claims or appeals and obtaining the proper authorizations to finding the right doctor, securing a timely appointment, gathering the information you need, an advocate can make your life during stressful situations a little less stressful.
Your patient advocate can connect you with the services you need, whether that's home health care, elder care, or specialized care like occupational therapy. When a problem arises, they can also help you link up with arbitration, mediation, negotiation, and even legal services to settle issues related to your medical treatment, such as access to care, medical debt, billing, or insurance disputes. If you're experiencing financial issues, some may even connect you with financial support programs or available resources to help with payment and debt management. A patient advocate can also work with your employer if you're having a hard time retaining your job due to a medical condition.
A patient advocate can be a powerful ally in your health care journey. Check out Solace to find an advocate who can help.
How do I find the right advocate?
Just like finding the right doctor, finding the right advocate can be challenging—but with Solace, it’s easier. When you search by specialty and location, you’ll find advocates near you (or your loved one) that can listen to, understand, and help meet your needs.
Working with an advocate can be a very personal relationship, so it’s perfectly okay if it takes a few calls for you to determine the right person for your situation. By creating a seamless experience from finding an advocate to booking time with them, Solace makes it easy to find the right advocate for your situation. You’ll be working with real, experienced professionals who can help you navigate any health event with confidence.