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The Impact of Patient Advocacy on Healthcare

Outcomes and Costs

A White Paper from the Coalition of Health Care Advocacy Organizations (CHCAO)

Our Complex Healthcare System

The Impact of the Affordable Care Act

It is no surprise that since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, it has become increasingly more complex to navigate our healthcare system. While addressing the cost problems with healthcare and the ability of many Americans to access adequate healthcare, many of the support services previously offered to patients have disappeared. 

Current Patient Support Challenges

Many patients, particularly Seniors, have been forced to rely on support from other sources, specifically family and friends. A white paper commissioned by the Coalition of Health Care Advocacy Organizations (CHCAO) entitled "The Critical Role of Patient and Health Care Advocates: A Special Report", is an exhaustive study that outlines the challenges of obtaining cost effective and quality healthcare through the use of Patient Advocates. It is 28 pages of data and conclusions that support the conclusions.
The CHCAO White Paper on Patient & Healthcare Advocates

Key Statistics

Trisha Torrey, a long-time leader in the Patient Advocate community, has provided an excellent summary of the key points of the white paper, including:
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Patients: Patient care was positively impacted by working with an advocate
92%
Advocates: Patients and clients were more educated, satisfied, & confident
 in navigating health issues
98%
Healthcare Providers: Working with an advocate had a positive impact on patient care
98%
Healthcare Providers: Advocates have a positive patient effect 
& decrease their staff burden
92%

More Survey Results

Among Advocates:
54%

ADVOCATES

Hired for decision support
57%

ADVOCATES

Hired for care coordination
Among Patients:
55%

PATIENTS

Prefer to work with a board certified patient advocate
60%

PATIENTS

Certification positively affects their opinion of the advocates’ quality of support

Analyzing Survey Results

Healthcare Conflicts
What does this mean, however, to the individual patient who is more than a statistic? 

The experience and observations of Patient Care Partners over the last 7 years has been that while the front-line healthcare workers, mainly doctors, nurses and social workers, are dedicated professionals focused on the best outcomes of their patients, the system in general is not supportive. 

The hospital bureaucracy rules and procedures, insurance companies, government regulations driven by Medicare and Medicaid, litigation all seem at odds with providing optimal care.
Patient Risks
Patients faced with these obstacles often turn to family and friends for help. 

Unfortunately, family and friends, although well meaning, do not have the time or necessary skills to provide the necessary support. 

Consequently, the patient continues to receive, at best, mediocre care and a compounding of any health issues.

Using a Certified Advocate

Qualified Patient Advocates can provide a wide variety of services to take this burden off the family.

 Primary services include:

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Nursing Assessment: A thorough review of the patient’s history to determine current and potential issues.
Coordination of Care Plan: A comprehensive plan for the patient to achieve an optimal outcome. This includes prepping the patient for healthcare visits, so all questions are posed and answered, and debriefing of the appt to ensure that patient is understanding of the plan moving forward. Patients are empowered when they are heard and acknowledged, and health outcomes are often improved.
Follow Up with Patient and Family on Visit Results: Answering all concerns and issues such that all concerned parties are fully informed.
Housing Assessment: Is the current housing situation adequate for proper care and safety, whether in the patient’s home or another facility.
Insurance Coverage: Many patients are often unaware of their rights and coverage options with their health insurance and long term care insurance benefits. Failure to fully understand your benefits can result in loss of thousands of dollars.

Special Risks for Seniors

Many patients, especially seniors, have complained that the healthcare system seems less interested in their overall health as they age, and focus instead on providing the minimum of care. 

While this may be overstated, the support needed by patients is often not being provided by the healthcare system as it currently exists. 

Patient Advocates have stepped in to fill this role.

PATIENT CARE PARTNERS

Patients Care Partners (PCP) was formed in 2016 to provide such support. PCP, founded by Debby Deutsch, a Borad Certified Patient Advocate, has assembled a team of highly experienced healthcare professionals, nurses, social workers, grief counselors, to address the needs of patients, including seniors, to provide these services. PCP has helped hundreds of patients, and families, ensure that necessary support is available to achieve maximum outcomes for evolving healthcare needs.
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