When a healthcare crisis strikes, having a reliable advocate in your corner is essential; a personal representative to oversee the situation and help limit potential mistakes and improve the overall experience.
Medical / Navigational Assistance and Case Management
- For your diagnosis and treatment recommendations – review of options, assistance with decision-making
- Background research: diagnosis and/or treatment options
- Records review and discussion
- Prescriptions / Supplements / Medication Reviews
- Preparation for appointments
- Accompaniment to appointments
- Hospital bedside monitoring
- Pain Management and Palliative Care Consulting – finding the right resources
- Healthcare proxy and advance directive assistance
- Caregiver support
- Guardianship or Conservatorship Services (limited by states and provinces)
Medical Billing / Health Insurance / Medicare / Payer Assistance
- Medical bill reviews and reconciliation
- Helping you choose the right health insurance plan or payer for you
- Filing and tracking medical bill paperwork and payments
- Negotiations: disputes, denials of claims, and appeals, for hospital bills or other medical billing
- Medicare or Medicaid recommendations and decision-making (Advantage Plans, Medigap, others)
Home Health, Eldercare, End-of-Life Services
Helping you find:
- In-home nursing care
- Home therapy and rehabilitation
- Daily living assistance
- Assisted living and nursing home recommendations
- Pain Management
- Hospice and palliative care services
- End of life planning including advance directives
Shared Decision Making
- Finding help for Pain Management
Mental Health / Substance Abuse Services
- When difficult health-related decisions need to be made for a loved one, including family disputes (moving a parent into a nursing home, choosing an out-of-town treatment facility, and others)
Finding help or alternative options for:
- Pain Management
- Drug reviews
- Health coaching
- Weight Loss
We proudly adhere to the Code of Conduct & Professional Standards of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates (APHA) and the Washington State Health Advocacy Association (WASHAA).
Accountability means to be answerable to oneself and others for one’s own actions. WASHAA members have a responsibility to advocate for their patients’ health, safety and rights and are individually accountable for their own advocacy role.
Confidentiality & Privacy
WASHAA members respect each client’s right to privacy, and abide by all relevant laws and regulations relating to confidentiality of personal information. WASHAA members shall at all times safe-guard and protect the confidentiality of all medical records and communications with clients.
Integrity & Transparency
WASHAA members are committed to integrity and transparency in the conduct of their practices. This includes transparency about their fees, training, education, experience and credentials. WASHAA members provide their clients with a written agreement that defines the member’s scope of practice, fee schedule and working arrangements. The member must dis-close any contractual relationships that may exist between the member and other services they might use to assist their clients.
WASHAA members understand and respect the boundaries between patient advocacy and any members of the health care team.
Respect for the Individual’s Right to Make Informed Choices
WASHAA members are dedicated to promoting the autonomy and empowerment of their clients to exercise meaningful informed consent. Members support the pursuit of understanding all care and treatment options, to help clients make informed decisions.
WASHAA members respect the dignity and freedom of each client to make his or her own decisions grounded in the cultural, spiritual, and ethical context of that individual.
Disclosure of Illegal or Unethical Practices
WASHAA members are obligated to counsel their clients against engaging in illegal or unethical practices toward vulnerable persons when such practices become known, and are required to report these practices to the appropriate authorities if they continue. WASHAA members are required (according to their professional designation and the law) to report abuse if known.
Are Patient Advocates licensed? Is there a specific credential required to practice?
The Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB) is the national body that has developed a credential for the profession of patient advocacy. The first examination was given in March, 2018. (See the press release from PACB.) Tzachi passed the examination and is therefore a Board-Certified Patient Advocate. Patient Advocates may have a variety of educations and back-grounds—no specific education or degrees are currently required for certification. Certification is not required to practice but con-notes a mastery of the body of knowledge considered to be pertinent.
What does a Patient Advocate do?
The role of an advocate is informational, not medical. Advocates are committed to helping clients and their families make informed choices and access resources. The role of a patient advocate is further detailed in PACB’s Competencies and Best Practices.
Taken together, all of this information tells us what a patient advocate does:
- Provides services to patients as they navigate the healthcare system,
- Works directly with patients to ensure that they have a voice in their care,
- Works to make sure that patients have sufficient information to promote informed decision making,
- Plays an informational role,
- Is committed to helping patients make informed choices and access resources,
- Ensures that a patient’s wishes are the guiding force behind decisions affecting medical care and the withholding of care, and
- Collaborates effectively with other members of the healthcare team.
Why would I need or want a patient advocate? Why can’t I just do it myself?
A time of illness is a stressful time for patients as well as for their families. The best-laid plans can go awry, judgment is impaired, and, put simply, you are not at your best when you are sick. Patients need someone who can look out for their best interests and help navigate the confusing healthcare system—in other words, an advocate. This may be a family member, close friend or professional advocate.
Hospitals and insurance companies offer complimentary patient advocates. Why would someone hire a private, independent advocate when they could use a hospital’s or insurance company’s advocates?
Advocates employed by hospitals and insurance companies have an allegiance to their employers and their policies, not primarily to the patient. If there is a conflict of interest they will necessarily conform to the restrictions imposed by their employers. A pri-vate Patient Advocate’s only loyalty is to their client and their only interest is in achieving the best outcome for that client, with-out restrictions imposed by for-profit healthcare organizations.
What will my doctor think if I employ a patient advocate?
In our experience, doctors and medical care teams welcome meeting with and involving Patient Advocates as part of their pa-tients’ care. An Advocate can help prepare clients for appointments so that everyone’s time is used most effectively, and better discussions ensue. An Advocate can also work with a client after the appointment to gather any information desired and help as-sure instructions are followed. Appointments with doctors become more productive and streamlined. While some physicians may not be familiar with working with a private Patient Advocate, we are happy to answer any questions they may have about our role and services that we provide.
How do I know what services I need and how much will they cost?
EI Health offers an up to 30-minute free initial consultation to discuss your current medical situation, to understand what you are struggling with or need help accomplishing, and to determine what goals you are looking to achieve. Once we have summarized all the pertinent information, a scope of services will be drafted which outlines and describes what services would be beneficial, what the process would be, as well as the approximate time commitment to complete and execute the described tasks. A detailed quote will be included within the agreement for your review. The scope of services agreement may be refined as needed until an appropriate agreement is reached.
Does insurance cover patient advocacy services?
No, it does not; neither Medicare nor private insurance currently covers the services of Patient Advocates.
Do EI Health Advocacy services include medical care or prescribe medications?
No, the role of a Patient Advocate is informational only. The first Ethical Standard of PACB is very clear that a patient advocate “shall not recommend specific treatment choices, provide clinical opinions, or perform medical care of any type, even if they pos-sess clinical credentials.”
However, the services of Dr. Litov are available to those interested but are booked totally separately to avoid any conflict of inter-est.