How is an Independent RN Patient Advocate different from a hospital Case Manager or hospital Patient Nurse Advocate?
The Independent RN Patient Advocate works directly for the patient/client, and educates/advocates for the patient/family and communicates with the patient’s healthcare team to assure positive healthcare outcomes. The hospital Case Manager and hospital Patient Nurse Advocate are paid employees of the healthcare providers.
Why would I need an Independent RN Patient Advocate?
Doctors spend very little time with patients, do not always communicate with other doctors (lacking coordination of care), patients do not necessarily comprehend their overall condition and diagnosis which can lead to poor outcomes. An Independent RN Patient Advocate works with you directly and can intervene by coordinating with all physicians caring for you to obtain the care you need.
What background and education should I expect for an Independent RN Patient Advocate?
Education, specialized training, credentials and experience are important when seeking services of an Independent RN Patient Advocate. One of the distinguishing credentials is the Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA, a credential of the Patient Advocate Certification Board™.
How do I know if I can find the “right” advocate?
If you have complex medical issues, consulting with a Registered Nurse Patient Advocate will serve you best in that nurses speak the language of medicine. The RN can quickly intervene with your physician due to an overall understanding of medical conditions and can utilize analytical skills as it relates to medications, diagnosis, testing results for labs, radiology reports, eg, X-Rays, MRI and CAT scans.
Are Independent RN Patient Advocates covered by insurance or Medicare?
Independent RN Patient Advocates are not covered by insurance or Medicare. Their fees are paid by the patient/client and in certain circumstances by family members. The RN Patient Advocate works directly for the patient and no other entity.
Can an Independent RN Patient Advocate pour my medications or do other nursing care?
An Independent RN Patient Advocate is a consulting advocate and does not provide any hands-on nursing care.
What does it cost to consult with an Independent RN Patient Advocate?
Fees are set by individual Independent RN Patient Advocates. The fee schedule is determined by their nursing experience, education, credentials and board certifications. Most Independent RN Patient Advocates offer service packages and many provide a free consultation to determine if Independent RN Patient Advocacy would be a good fit for your healthcare needs.
If I hire an Independent RN Patient Advocate, will my medical records and health information be secure?
RN Patient Advocates adhere to HIPAA regulations. This is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.
Can an RN Patient Advocate help me with my medical insurance claims and billing?
While some RN Patient Advocates may offer this service, most “partner” with Medical Claim Service providers. There is a definite need when patients have Medicare and a secondary insurance. The confusion in the billing can be overwhelming and this service can be utilized to assure payment of bills due and not overpayments. If errors occur in the billing codes, an experienced Medical Claim Service provider can work with the insurance carrier and provider to ensure corrections are made and billed appropriately.
If my elderly parent is hospitalized, can an Independent RN Patient Advocate help transition my parent to a rehabilitation facility?
The Independent RN Patient Advocate works with the hospital discharge planner, physician and the assigned Case Manager when the patient is hospitalized to assess the facilities and their availability. RN Patient Advocates have many resources in the community and can assist in the location of an appropriate facility to meet the patient’s health care needs.