What is the Role of a Patient Advocate?

A patient advocate works with your medical care team, to assure your voice is heard and your needs are met. Advocates are committed to helping clients and client communities make informed choices and access resources. They do not recommend specific treatment choices, provide clinical opinions, or perform medical care of any type, even if they possess clinical credentials. The role of an advocate is informational, not medical.

What does the BCPA/Board Certified Patient Advocate Credential mean?

The BCPA certification is a credential for professional patient/health advocates. The intent is to assure the general public that any BCPA advocate they work with has met the standards and competencies defined through this credential, including successfully completing the rigorous certification board exam.

How does the process work?

After a brief phone and/or email exchange, you will receive a contract specifying services for an initial assessment. Depending on level of complexity, you will be charged a flat fee for that assessment. Should you then decide to continue to work with us, fees will be assessed at an hourly rate or be project-based, whichever seems most appropriate. The client or the individual contracting for services is responsible for all charges. Insurance does not cover these services, which also means we are not beholden to anyone but the client we serve.

What about Privacy and Confidentiality?

Although independent professional advocates are not officially required to comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act), we do. Your information is kept confidential, stored securely and only shared if and when you give specific permissions to do so. For us to access or receive any of your medical/personal information, you will need to sign HIPAA release forms.

Can I consult an Advocate for someone other than myself?

Yes. Advocate services can be requested directly by the client, a surrogate decision-maker or by a family member concerned about a loved one’s/parent’s care. In that case, the advocate’s allegiance would still be to the client, even if services are paid for by a third party.