How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Independent, Private Advocate?
When you request help from an independent, professional patient advocate, you should expect the advocate to charge you for the services he or she performs on your behalf. Health insurance does not ordinarily cover the cost of patient advocate fees, although some employers will assist with payment.
No two advocates charge for their services in exactly the same way. The cost will depend on:
- the advocacy services you need
- your location, or your location in relation to where they are located
- the advocate’s experience and education
- the amount of time you work together
- additional factors like necessary travel, acquisition of medical records, or others which may cause pricing to go higher or lower
Here are some ways advocates may charge you:
(Not all advocates will charge all fees.)
- Initial assessment fees (to get to know the patient and to determine the scope of work and services needed)
- Hourly rates
- Deposit to an hours bank (when total amount of time needed will be unknown, patient will pay for a number of hours upfront, and amount will be reconciled throughout the relationship)
- Retainers (a certain number of hours per week or month, depending on your needs)
- Project fees (like a hospital bill that needs to be negotiated and then the project is complete)
Asking about the cost of services is part of your patient advocate interview process (see more about interviewing your potential advocate here).
Be sure to get a good idea of what the work will cost before you hire your patient advocate.