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Discuss a time where you influence health care through advocacy

Discuss a time where you influence health care through advocacy

Discuss a time where you influence health care through advocacy
QUESTION
The purpose of learning the ropes of policy, politics and advocacy is to influence health care or broader social agendas that influence human health. Discuss a time where you influence health care through advocacy.
Discuss a time where you influence health care through advocacy

ANSWER

The complex healthcare system of today is becoming increasingly fragmented. Patients who see multiple specialists must keep track of treatment plans. Even the most informed patients face difficulties when it comes to medical bills and insurance coverage. Healthcare advocacy can play an important role in reducing the stress that patients face while navigating the healthcare system.

Healthcare Advocacy Can Help With
Managing health care can be difficult even in the best of circumstances. Navigating one’s own health care can be difficult for older adults with cognitive impairment or for people suffering from exhaustion symptoms. The end result? Patients put off getting needed care or do not seek it at all.

Patients and caregivers may spend a significant amount of time poring over insurance forms or other documents written in jargon that they find difficult to understand. They are prone to misinterpreting diagnoses and treatment options. Such misunderstandings can lead to inefficient use of medical services. Patients may, for example, have duplicate diagnostic tests, miss appointments, or take the incorrect medication dosage.

Patients who have difficult-to-understand health insurance coverage may not take full advantage of what is available to them. In other cases, patients pay incorrect medical bills that contain errors or charges that are actually covered by their health insurance plans.

While the national conversation about health care has centered on how to address these issues, many patients require personalized care. Healthcare advocates can be of assistance.

What Exactly Is a Healthcare Advocate?
Healthcare advocates provide direct, tailored assistance to patients and their families in navigating the healthcare system. The following are the responsibilities of a healthcare advocate:

assisting patients in obtaining health care
Educating patients to enable them to make informed healthcare decisions
assisting patients with medical care, insurance issues, and administrative and legal tasks
What is the relationship between patients and healthcare advocates? Patients and their families may occasionally hire independent health advocates or individuals who work for advocacy organizations. Employers, insurance companies, and hospitals may also provide health advocates to their employees.

Healthcare Advocacy Types
The many layers of the healthcare system have created a need for various types of healthcare advocacy. In fact, according to a Harvard Business Review study, 52 percent of patients in the United States are unable to navigate the healthcare system’s complexities on their own.

Health advocates provide a variety of services, such as assisting patients who are concerned about an unclear diagnosis or clarifying confusing medical charges:

Medical Care Guidance
Medical care navigation services include the following:

Interacting with healthcare providers
Appointment scheduling, coordination, and attendance
Speak up for patient rights
locating and referring to health resources
Explaining perplexing medical terminology
Diagnosis and condition clarification
Coordination of care among specialists
Medical Billing Assistance
Services that assist patients in navigating medical billing include:

Examining medical bills to ensure their accuracy
Bill negotiation with providers
Correcting billing errors
Navigating Health Insurance
Help navigating health insurance may include:

determining the coverage provided by insurance policies, Medicare benefits, and veteran benefits
Patients’ understanding of copays and coinsurance
Looking into both in-network and out-of-network provider options
advising patients on health insurance and plan selection
Investigating additional potential advantages such as long-term care insurance
Educating patients on the benefits of wellness, such as preventive care and the use of telehealth
Navigation for Placement
Among the services that assist patients in finding placements are:

Assisting patients with admission to or discharge from hospitals
Coordination of patient transfers to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or rehabilitation facilities
Service Navigation for Older Adults
Navigation of services for older adults includes assistance with:

Home health care
Transportation
Meals
Housing
Legal Guidance
Legal navigation services include the following:

Assisting patients with legal issues and concerns
Advocating on behalf of patients who received substandard care at a medical facility
Assisting patients with disability applications
Why is Advocacy in Health Care Important?
Examining healthcare policy and patient support roles explains why advocacy is so important in health care. Large-scale advocacy seeks to change the system, whereas individual advocacy seeks to speak on the patient’s behalf.

Large-Scale Healthcare Advocacy
Large-scale healthcare advocacy guides lawmakers and leaders who create healthcare policy. It promotes well-informed decision-making about programs that affect:

Healthcare professionals
Patients
Healthcare settings
Broad healthcare advocacy promotes reforms that put the most recent research to use and fosters stronger partnerships within the healthcare industry. It also works to advance health policies that take into account factors such as poverty and other social and economic circumstances that affect people’s health.

Healthcare advocacy that influences public policy, when successful, improves individual and community health, thereby reducing health disparities. Such advocacy directs health policy goals, secures priority legislation, and secures funding to support newly enacted policies.

With the onset of COVID-19, for example, healthcare public policy advocates sprung into action. They worked to educate policymakers on how to deal with care coordination, use telehealth, and deal with privacy concerns in order to best help patients and save lives.

Health reform efforts in the past and present have had an impact on medical research and education. In response to the AIDS crisis, for example, the advocacy group ACT UP was instrumental in obtaining funding for AIDS research. This eventually led to the development of anti-retroviral treatments, which are now used to keep millions of people alive.

Advocacy groups such as White Coats for Black Lives are pushing for initiatives to diversify healthcare faculty in an effort to dismantle systemic racism in health care. One project involves advocating for training in medical education that combats discriminatory practices and implicit biases.

Discuss a time where you influence health care through advocacy

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