Advocacy

What We Do

Patient advocates are medical professionals whose primary function is help you navigate the medical system. Our managed care medical system is designed to efficiently treat most of the people, most of the time. Unfortunately, it tends to fail anyone with complex medical needs, those with rare conditions, or anyone whose medical care doesn’t fit neatly into the standard flowchart.

Medical scientists are able to offer an even more specialized approach to patient advocacy, as we can help both you and your doctor make better, more informed decisions. All doctors are required to maintain continuing education, but it’s impossible to remain abreast of every advance in every field – especially while maintaining a patient practice and responding to the administration’s pressures.

Many hospitals are beginning to maintain patient advocacy staff to some extent. Sometimes these are dedicated personnel, most often advocate is one of many hats worn by the staff member. Typically, these advocates only become engaged when a problem is identified, or a complaint is filed. And their influence and services almost always end at the facility’s doorway. This level of involvement is often too little and too late.

Who we help

We help anyone who doesn’t feel like they’re getting the best care possible. That includes people with the toughest cases, the rarest diseases, and even those who are making no headway toward any diagnosis at all. The best way to understand the types of cases we tend to become deeply involved with, would be to follow some of our anonymous case studies. These are currently under review and a link will be added once they are confirmed to comply with HIPPA regulations.

How we help

Based on the circumstances and personal preferences, we can serve as a passive advisor, take on the role of aggressive advocate, or anywhere in between.

We can answer the basic questions that your doctor hasn’t. We can help you to understand test results, and explain any uncertainty. We can help you to understand the factors influencing your health and prepare you for a meaningful conversation with your doctor. If your issue is outside your current doctor’s scope of experience, we can help them to make the most appropriate referral when specialist care is required.

In the most extreme cases, we can use our experience and professional connections in medical research to help your healthcare provider access options that are normally outside their reach. We operate at frontiers in medical science. If no promising clinical trial exists, it is actually possible to propose a “clinical trial for one” based on available medical data. At this scale, in life-threatening circumstances, a person may seek an exception from the FDA. In other words, we can help you find the best option whether it exists yet or not.

And as we become engaged with the issues facing specific individuals, we frequently identify broader community or social issues. Very often, our work with one individual translates into the potential for improved treatment or social policy. Sometimes we’re able to pursue those improvements, and sometimes we simply raise awareness and entrust the task to others who are better suited. But we always strive to make the greatest impact through improvements that affect many, without losing focus on the individual people along the way.

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