What is a Private Patient Advocate?
An advocate is a “supporter, believer, sponsor, promoter, campaigner, backer, or spokesperson.”
A Private Healthcare Advocate works directly with patients, families and caregivers to navigate the healthcare system and provide the support and education they need so they can make their own decisions about their next steps.
Private Patient Advocacy is an emerging professional field. A Board Certification exam was established in 2018 which helps to provide assurance of Competency, Ethics and Best Practices. As of mid 2021 there are approximately 1000 BCPA's in North America.
Patient Advocates offer a wide variety of services and some specialize in specific disease states.
Whether that is helping to coordinate their care among several providers, sitting by their bedside to keep them safe in the hospital, helping them interpret difficult medical information and terminology, or reviewing their medical bills to find errors or duplications – the advocate is a person who has the background and knowledge needed to make the patient’s journey as smooth as possible, without the inherent conflict-of-interest that arises within the profit sectors of the system.
The benefit to both patients and caregivers is peace of mind, and the ability to put their efforts toward healing, or supporting their loved one who needs care, knowing a professional is handling the important details