Advocate Availability: Services & Locations
Patient and health advocacy as a profession is very new. Although a small handful of advocates have been in practice for decades, it wasn’t until 2009-2010 before professional advocacy began develop on a larger scale, likely triggered by discussions of healthcare reform, changes in American laws, higher rates of medical errors, and subsequently higher costs being born by individuals.
As a result, advocates and care managers cannot be found in all areas of the United States and Canada. Currently AdvoConnection hosts professionals from only about 42 states and 4 Canadian provinces. Even if there is an advocate who lives and works in the area you identify, that advocate may not offer the services you believe you need.
However! Not all advocates and care managers are listed in the AdvoConnection Directory. We are selective about who we allow to participate, and not everyone meets our criteria. Additionally, some advocates have busy practices already, and therefore do not want to be listed; they don’t want to turn people away.
Therefore, there may be an advocate who can help you, and who you don’t find in the directory.
To find them, we have a few suggestions:
- Contact an advocate or care manager in another location who provides the services you need (one who AdvoConnection identifies in your search results). They may be able to refer you to an advocate in your area.
- If there is someone in your area who doesn’t list the services you need, contact them anyway. They may be able to help you locate the person who can help you, or it’s possible they do offer the service you need, but their directory listing isn’t updated.
- Make a request for the help you need. Sometimes you don’t need someone in your specific location. Many of our members are able to help you remotely, especially for medical billing problems and price negotiation.
Finally, don’t assume you must choose among those who are only in your local area. Technology can help facilitate your situation. Some advocates use phone, email, or even video like Zoom, Skype, or Facetime to connect with their clients who live far away. Others sit in on doctor appointments through the speaker on a cell phone. Still others may be willing to travel to see you.
Over time, as the profession grows, there will be more and more professionals available in more and more locations to help those who need them.