- A growing field known as professional patient advocacy is helping people aging alone navigate the medical system.
- Fees for patient advocacy services can range between $125 to $400 an hour and may include client or doctor consultations, monitoring medical records, or reviewing medical bills and insurance claims.
- A patient advocate can work as part of your overall team of estate planning and health professionals and should be a different person than the one you designate to be your health care proxy.
Jeralyn Felts, 72, has faced a succession of medical scares in recent years. She wrestles with chronic diseases and has repeatedly endured adverse physical reactions and side effects to medications.
But it goes deeper. Her frustration with doctors has made her feel powerless and her voice unheard when it comes to her health care.
Her solution: She hired Dr. Annette Ticoras, a patient advocate and licensed physician, based in Columbus, Ohio, to go with her to appointments and be a “second set of ears,” said Felts.
Ticoras represents a growing profession of patient advocates (or patient navigators) who help Americans who are aging alone navigate a complex and often stressful medical system.