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The genesis of healthcare reform and patient rights began in 2005 with The Patient Navigator, Outreach & Chronic Disease Prevention Act. This federal legislation paved the way for patients to identify and recruit unbiased advocates to assist them facilitate their health care experience; even accompanying them to medical appointments when requested and providing a range of general and specialized services.

Patient Advocacy Services was formed to provide individuals with an integrated case management approach, helping patients to recognize and overcome barriers to appropriate care, while also helping with claims processing and communicating with insurance providers.

The advocate works with the patient’s healthcare providers and support networks. This can include physicians, therapists, technicians, insurance companies, employers, case managers, attorneys as well as family members. The advocate can help coordinate the flow of information to enhance decision-making and increase patient confidence in the care process. Additionally, the advocate remains alert to any evidence of discrimination that might be linked to patient diagnosis, gender
or ethnicity.

Patient advocacy can yield the double benefit of improving
patient satisfaction and outcome.

The advocate gives attention to the quality of communication between physician and patient. The advocate can teach a patient to articulate symptoms, problems or concerns and ask important questions of her/her healthcare providers. The advocate also has the knowledge and training to help patients understand complex medical terminology.

The advocate helps to ensure that the patient understands all aspects of the treatment plan, including self-care and medication management. The advocate works in conjunction with hospital staff to assess where the hospitalized patient is to be discharged — home or elsewhere, to be sure that resources are in place for treatment plan compliance; the goal being achievement of optimum health and healing.

First and foremost, the advocate is concerned with patient well being. With patient approval, the advocate is prepared to suggest clinically proven, research-based treatment alternatives the healthcare providers might not have considered. An advocate oversees care coordination and facilitates effective communication among patient and providers, family members and third-party professionals such as accountants and attorneys who might be assisting with estate-planning activity.

Patient advocates can speak on the patient's behalf to help protect their rights and obtain necessary information and services.

What makes Patient Advocacy Services different is that we focus on you, the individual patient. The majority of highly visible Advocacy groups focus a greater percentage of their efforts on changing the law, state by state or at the Federal level, doing very little grassroots level individual work of any type. At Patient Advocacy Services our focus is the patient and their healthcare experience. We do not place emphasis or resources on lobbying or legislation. We believe this focus is necessary to help provide you with the best outcome possible.

* Definition extracted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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