Why Do You Need A Patient Advocate?
Before You Retain A Patient Advocate, You Just Ask Yourself Some Basic Questions. If You Answer "Yes" To Any Of Them, You Should Retain CareRELATE.
Am I feeling overwhelmed about a recent medical diagnosis?
Can my family or friends regularly accompany me on my medical appointments? If so, are they helping me ask good questions?
Am I missing medical appointments or struggling to get to them on time?
When I ask questions, am I getting answers to my questions from my doctor/nurse? Do I understand what they're saying?
Am I concerned the questions I am asking are relevant?
Is my doctor giving me enough face/phone/email time to diagnose and discuss my symptoms properly?
Am I concerned that I am undergoing too many tests whose results are rarely discussed with me?
Am I being overwhelmed by paperwork?
Am I concerned that my insurance may not cover some of my treatment/care?
Am I concerned about being overwhelmed by medical bills?
Am I concerned about maintaining my medications or treatments?
What CareRELATE Is And Is Not
1. Do you provide any treatments or diagnoses?
We do not provide any medical care or make diagnoses. CareRELATE is a consulting service. Patients who contract with us are our clients. We will interact with medical professionals such as your doctors or nurses to obtain information from them about your case. We will then interpret and streamline the information so you can understand and make the best decisions possible about your course of care.
2. What will I need to move forward with your services?
A medical privacy waiver signed by you. That will allow CareRELATE to discuss your medical issues with your doctors, nurses and other providers.
A signed contract with CareRELATE.
A retainer fee (usually $500) that will be applied against services rendered by CareRELATE. If the services we provide are less than the retainer, CareRELATE will refund the difference. However, your final bill may be more than the retainer depending on the work involved.
3. How much will CareRELATE actually cost me?
That depends on your health issues and needs. If you need to be accompanied on a few medical visits, we usually charge an hourly rate. If you have complex healthcare needs and require regular accompaniment -- or just need some paperwork filled out -- we can negotiate a flat monthly or one-time fee. If you have a medical bill or other cost that requires negotiation, we charge either an hourly fee or a percentage of what we save you compared to your original bill, whichever is greater.
4. The hospital and/or medical group has offered to provide a patient advocate for me or my family member. Should I accept?
Ultimately, that is a decision to be made by you and your family. However, many hospitals and medical groups have their own motives for assigning a patient advocate -- one of which is trying to ensure that you pay your bill in full. And most patient advocates who work for hospitals and medical groups do not possess a college education. At CareRELATE, our advocates are highly educated, and have only one interest -- you and your loved ones.
5. Is CareRELATE licensed? Is that important?
CareRELATE is licensed as a business. THERE IS NO LICENSURE IN ANY STATE FOR PATIENT ADVOCATES. However, licensure is expected to be commonplace within five to ten years. There are a variety of highly regarded patient advocacy certification programs. CareRELATE founder Ron Shinkman received his patient advocacy certification at UCLA. The UCLA program is one of the most rigorous in the nation. It is the educational equivalent of obtaining a master's degree.
6. What if I am dissatisfied with CareRELATE?
If at any time you feel CareRELATE is less than professional and competent in representing your interests, we will endeavor to refund some or all of the payments you have made.