NATIONAL PATIENT ADVOCACY DAY 2022: HISTORY, HOW TO OBSERVE

Happy National Patient Advocate Day! What is National Patient Advocate Day? This day is dedicated to recognizing the importance of patient advocacy and honoring the patients who work hard to make a difference. Patient advocacy is the practice of supporting patients in their interactions with health care providers and systems. Patients use their voices to fight for their rights, and they work together to improve their health care experiences. Learn more about patient advocacy and how you can get involved today.

Patient advocacy has become a major issue in the healthcare industry. On National Patient Advocate Day, we want to take a moment to recognize the importance of patient engagement and involvement in healthcare. Healthcare is now a global industry, and patients everywhere have the power to make a difference.

HISTORY OF NATIONAL PATIENT ADVOCACY DAY

The area of medicine known as patient advocacy is dedicated to supporting sufferers, survivors, and caregivers. An individual or organization concerned about a particular set of diseases might be a patient advocate. Patient advocacy in the United States started in the 1950s as a result of developments in cancer research and treatment. However, patients and their families voiced ethical concerns over the clinical research, diagnostic procedures, and therapeutic methods used in the early stages of cancer treatment. The practice of advocacy developed in this medico-legal and ethical debate to assist and represent patients.

The 1970s were an important decade for patient activism as the Patient Rights movement gained ground in the United States. Examples include the Joint Commission’s hospital accreditation criteria in 1970 and the American Hospital Association’s Patient Charter of Rights in 1972, which were both influenced by the National Welfare Rights Organization’s (N.W.R.O.) materials for a patient’s bill of rights.

Individual patient advocacy became popular in the United States in the early 2000s and in Australia 10 years later. The field is increasingly viewed as a commonplace substitute for enhancing hospital and community-based healthcare outcomes. In order to increase public knowledge of the services available to healthcare facilities, particularly about Medicaid eligibility, DECO Recovery Management was established this day in 2019.

Advocacy priorities

The state’s current and expected fiscal status is improving, despite COVID-19 continuing to provide financial difficulties for providers. This year, New York has an unmatched chance to make important and long-lasting investments in our healthcare system. For all New Yorkers to continue to have access to high-quality healthcare this year, HANYS is urging the governor and legislature to make the following three investments:

Workforce

A strong and stable workforce is essential to delivering high-quality care. COVID-19, however, has had a catastrophic effect on our healthcare workforce. To ensure that hospitals and health systems can continue offering the best level of care in their communities, we need investments and actions that address both short- and long-term workforce challenges.

Medicaid

Provider payments have stayed the same even though the state has increased covered services and Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid only pays hospitals 61 cents for every dollar spent on patient care. We are requesting that the governor and the legislature immediately reinstate a significant and long-lasting Medicaid trend component to the payment rates for hospitals and nursing homes.

Infrastructure

To upgrade and alter New York’s healthcare system, capital finance for healthcare is crucial. We are urging the legislature to approve the executive budget’s pledge to give healthcare providers much-needed access to capital.

Patient advocate roles and titles  

You might notice that the company uses a different title when you look at the job description for a patient advocate. The most typical job title is patient advocate, however, a patient navigator may also be listed in the job description since the professional’s responsibility is to assist the patient in navigating the healthcare system. Other names that could be used are:

  • Patient Liaison 
  • Patient representative
  • Consumer advocate 
  • Health advocate
  • Care manager
  • Case manager
  • Ombudsman 
  • Medical advocate 

You may always check with the company posting the job to make sure the title is the same when you apply for a position as a patient advocate but it has a different name. To confirm this information, you can also review the tasks and obligations.

Duties and responsibilities of a patient advocate

The roles and responsibilities of a patient advocate are numerous. But in the end, this fulfilling profession equips you with the skills necessary to make sure a patient is cared for from diagnosis to treatment, rehabilitation, and follow-up appointments. Patient advocates can help anyone who needs medical attention, but they frequently help people who have chronic illnesses, numerous illnesses, or situations that are life-threatening.

Some of your usual obligations and duties, if you’re interested in working as a patient advocate, might be:

  • scheduling medical consultations and obtaining second views
  • finding financial and legal resources for a patient
  • helping a patient locate social networks and other forms of support
  • Dealing with medical bills
  • verifying the accuracy of medical invoices by reviewing them
  • the settlement of disagreements between patients and their insurance providers
  • settling disputes between patients and their medical professionals
  • collecting data on certain ailments and diseases
  • interacting with healthcare professionals such as nurses, therapists, and doctors on the patient’s behalf
  • Getting in touch with an insurance provider on the patient’s behalf
  • explaining to patients various things, such as information about diagnostic and medical expenses
  • guiding patients through their available options for treatment and care
  • recording what occurs during medical appointments
  • if a patient is unable to express their requirements or wishes, ensuring that they are satisfied
  • assisting patients with application and form completion
  • determining the areas that require additional or improved care
  • supporting the rights of patients
  • Examining medical records, bills, and other paperwork

Answering a patient’s questions is one of the most crucial things you’ll do as a patient advocate, regardless of your other roles and responsibilities. It’s your responsibility to ensure that they receive what they require, whether they simply need comfort or just some basic facts. Patients frequently inquire about: 

  • the cost of getting to and from appointments
  • locations for appointments
  • How to locate a different medical facility or doctor
  • their findings (they may not fully understand a condition or treatment options)
  • options for therapy
  • the best way to pay for their medical treatment
  • a wait time
  • wishing to return home after prolonged hospital stays
  • support in general when they’re feeling sad or alone

Educational requirements (degrees, certifications, training) 

The organization that hires you will often choose what training you need to become a patient advocate. Some employers might accept your high school graduation while others may require you to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. If you’re just starting college and want to work as a patient advocate, you might want to consider majoring in a health-related profession. The fields of social work, law, finance, or counseling are also excellent choices. Even some people receive degrees in nursing.

Some people frequently transition into patient advocacy as a second profession, particularly those with experience in nursing, medical assistance, medical billing, social work, law, or customer service. You might even discover that employers favor applicants who have experience in one of these areas.

While there is no specific degree needed to work as a patient advocate, some colleges and universities may offer courses or certificates to aid in your preparation. If you decide to follow this route, you might enroll in classes on money management, morality, medical law, communication, the healthcare system, and other relevant subjects.

Earning the Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) credential from the Patient Advocate Certification Board is an additional choice (PACB). Anyone with an experience in patient advocacy, from hospital volunteers to doctors, is eligible to take the certification exam. Each application’s eligibility is assessed separately. You must first submit an application and provide identification before you may take the exam. The PACB claims that having the qualification will provide you access to more work options.

HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PATIENT ADVOCACY DAY

Participate in a virtual event
On this day, a lot of organizations will have virtual advocacy events. Attend one of the many events to take advantage of the chance to learn about patient advocacy, advocacy training, and the function of patient advocates.

Conduct your own research
Look into the patient advocacy services that are offered. Investigate the elements you might have to take into account when looking for a patient advocate service for Medicaid eligibility.

Make contact with a patient advocacy group
You can get assistance from the patient advocacy foundation if you or someone you know needs an advocate. To find out more about their services and options, you can also visit their website.

NATIONAL PATIENT ADVOCACY DAY DATES

DayDateYear
FridayAugust 192022
SaturdayAugust 192023
MondayAugust 192024
TuesdayAugust 192025
WednesdayAugust 192026

Conclusion

While it’s not a surprise that patients can play an important role in improving healthcare, few know about its impact. On National Patient Advocacy Day, we ask: How will you advocate for your patient today? Diseases like diabetes and cancer are on the rise in India as well as globally. These diseases have become a major cause of hospital visits and deaths. A better understanding of the signs, symptoms, and early-testing processes could save time and money for both patients and healthcare providers alike! Share this article with friends to spread awareness about these simple yet crucial steps that everyone can take to help their loved ones lead healthier lives.

Read Also: National Health Center Week, World Mental Health Day, Popular Consultation Day, National Tooth Fairy Day, World Food Safety Day

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