4 Steps to Interview and Hire an Advocate or Care Manager1. Determine what services you need. 2. Do a search for care managers or advocates who offer the services you need. 3. Contact them (see below) to see if they are available to help you. 4. Interview them to be sure you are comfortable with the conversation and are confident that they can help you. (Find our sample interview questions below.)
How to Contact a Health or Patient Advocate or Care Manager
- Once you have identified professionals who may be able to help you, make initial contact either by phone or email. Send them your name and contact information, plus a brief description (1-2 sentences) of your request for help.
- Remember, an advocate or care manager may not need to be located near you. Many services can be provided remotely.
- Interview them carefully to be sure they offer the services you need. See sample interview questions below.
- Important! Be prepared! An interview may last only 15 minutes so be sure you know what questions you want to ask to make the most of your time.
- Finally, remember that an interview is only an interview. It is not intended to provide you with advocacy answers or solutions. Your goal will be to determine whether you want to work with an advocate. Once you have signed a contract, then you can expect solutions and answers.
Interview Questions to Help You ChooseOnce you identify a professional who may be able to help you, it is up to you to verify that they can do what they say they can do, and that they are prepared as they say they are prepared.* You’ll want to ask these questions:
- What are your advocacy or care management credentials?
- What is your background, training, and experience providing these services?
- Have you handled other cases similar to mine?
- How long have you been an independent care manager or advocate? What sort of work did you do prior to before going into independent practice?
- Do you subscribe or adhere to a Code of Professional Standards?
- Have you recently undergone a background check? If so, will you share the results with me?
- Are you certified for this work? (There is no licensing for advocates in any state or province. There are a handful of relevant certifications.)
- What do you charge for your services? (Learn about the cost of hiring an advocacy professional.)
- Do you have professional liability and/or Errors and Omissions Insurance? The great majority of advocates and care managers have insurance to protect you and themselves. If the advocate you interview does not have E&O insurance, ask them for a plausible explanation.
- Does anyone else pay you to help me? Here you are assessing conflicts-of-interest. For example, there are cases when someone is paid a commission for placing patients in a specific nursing home or with other services. They may be less objective, so you’ll want to assess possible conflicts with the Allegiance Factor.
- Do you know the approximate amount of time it will take you to handle the services I need? If not, how can I get an estimate?
- What is your caseload? Do you have time to handle the work I need to have done? How many people do you work with at one time?
- Do you have references? Beyond the testimonials* on a directory listing, will they provide you with references from other people they have worked with? Please remember that independent professionals may understandably be reluctant to give you names and contact information for references due to privacy laws. However, it would make sense to ask them if they will ask a former client to contact you to provide a reference. (*Regarding AdvoConnection testimonials: we monitor those added to the AdvoConnection Directory to be sure they are added only by bona fide clients of that professional.)
- Are you “on call” 24/7 or do you have specific hours?
- Do you provide reports on services you provide in my absence? (Important for situations where the caregiver lives in one place, but the patient – such as an elderly parent – lives somewhere else.)
*AdvoConnection strives to provide quality information, but we make no claims or promises, nor do we guarantee the accuracy or adequacy of the information contained in, or linked to or from, this web site or its associated sites.We also make no guarantees about the quality of service provided by the listed entities or advertisers on this site. We provide listings and advertising solely as a directory service making contact information available. Learn more: AdvoConnection Disclaimer.