We often hear that we should advocate for ourselves or others. But did you know that it could be a role in an organization or a company benefit? Patient advocates can listen to patents’ fears and concerns, explain medical terms and procedures, ask physicians questions a patient may not think to ask, ensure that insurance claims get paid, and more.
Patient advocacy is important for employees, because they may not realize they can advocate for themselves. Employers have a unique opportunity to educate and empower employees so they’ll feel more confident and know the right questions to ask in the doctor’s office. As an added benefit, it may save the patient and the employer money in services that may. Not be necessary.
A great starting point for employers is to offer educational tools for employees. Employers are also doing things like investing in services that provide advocacy for employees or help with second opinions in complex medical situations. Some even go as far as to help employees get to different parts of the country to get the best care.
If you’re interested in offering some of these solutions, start by talking to some of the partners you’re already paying for services, like your medical insurer, benefits broker, or consultants you use to help make decisions in this area. They often have recommendations around what you can do and what type of programs are already available to you. You can also talk to your benefits department or do research using reputable sources like the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In this episode’s listener question, we’re asked about how to determine when you need additional HR support. In the news, we discuss a survey about perceptions of office buzzwords.
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