There are all different types of patient advocates, with different areas of expertise, styles, and rates. Choosing the best advocate for you involves a few key steps:
Think about what you need help with most.
Is it a billing or insurance situation? Or does it relate to a diagnosis, treatment, or health services?
Search for advocates with the right expertise.
Look at an advocate’s credentials. And do they have past experience working with people facing similar challenges?
Look for advocates in your area—or who are comfortable working with you from anywhere.
Some advocates will go with you to doctor’s appointments or meet with you in person. But advocates can do a lot remotely. Does it matter to you? If so, narrow your search by geography. If not, make sure the advocate is comfortable supporting you from a distance.
Schedule an interview or initial consultation.
Get a feel for the advocate. Do they get your situation? Do you feel comfortable communicating with them?
Ask what they charge.
Advocates provide valuable services. Most charge an hourly or a set service fee. Don’t be shy; make sure their rates fit your budget and expectations.
Go with your gut.
Does this advocate seem like someone you want by your side, helping you navigate your healthcare? If something feels off, keep looking. If it feels right, go for it.