The complexities of modern healthcare – especially in the United States – can weary a patient, especially someone who’s managing a complicated, chronic or rare disease.
Patient advocates can come to the rescue, helping people finally get the right diagnosis, navigate their health insurance, begin treatment and get connected with a patient community. No surprise the field is growing and more than 600 patient advocates have received certification through the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB).
Applicants to the U.S.-based PACB must pass an exam and uphold ethical standards, such as patient privacy. Certified advocates are listed on the PACB website and must get recertified every three years.
“Healthcare has become such a complex system, patients and families often face enormous challenges. Health/patient advocates can provide valuable assistance and certifications like the BCPA help to provide assurance of quality, safe and ethical conduct,” said Christine North, PhD, PACB President.
CSL Behring’s Dina Inverso was among 144 professionals who recently received the certification. Inverso, who’s Director of Reimbursement & Patient Engagement for North America Commercial Operations, answered a few of our questions about how advocates provide meaningful assistance that improves both health and quality of life.
What are some of forces that have turned being a patient advocate into something defined with agreed-upon professional requirements?
There are compounding pressures put on patients and their families during times of health care crisis. Not only is it extremely complicated to navigate the insurance landscape, understanding where and how to turn for resources is something people are not prepared to tackle when an illness hits. Being an advocate means removing barriers to care, bringing forward educational and supportive resources so the patient can be the ultimate decision maker in their care needs.
What led you to pursue this credential?
Given I lead a team that help people with reimbursement and insurance complexities as well as the patient advocates within Patient Engagement – I decided to challenge myself to get credentialed.
What might people be surprised to learn is part of the credentialing requirements?
There was a significant amount of Medicare, Medicaid and commercial insurance expertise needed, as well as a deep understanding of how to seek and source legal and counseling experts in a neutral manner to support the patient and or their caregiver optimally.
Do you recommend others seek this credential?
If someone is dedicated to supporting patients navigating the healthcare system, I would say yes!