Patient advocates are a newer service specialty in health care. The services that a patient advocate offers vary. They can include getting access to clinics and doctors, appointment accompaniment, hospitalization oversight, second-opinion research, and medical billing assistance. An advocate may be a nurse, a layperson, or even a physician. The patient advocate may be an individual or an organization. When an advocate works for an organization, they may be concerned with one specific group of disorders, such as cancer, transplant medicine, or geriatric care. Check to see whether your hospital or health plan offers patient advocate services before paying for one yourself.
A patient advocate can help with complex medical forms, medication co-pays, and insurance options.