Who Serves as Your Health Care Advocate? Probably You!

A 2014 report in U.S. News looked into the question, “How do people choose a provider?” The results (emerging from a poll) yielded three main answers: individuals ask a friend (37%), search the web (29%), and scrutinize their insurance plans (24%). There are two main implications of these results: first, that people in need of care engage in a “search” to fulfill their needs—they start not knowing the answer, and through various, familiar resources, arrive at their own solution; and second, that the process of finding a provider is left entirely in the hands of individuals, and it is up to them to design their own methods of action.

At OnPulse, we have mixed feelings when we consider the results of this poll.

On one hand, we empathize with all of these potential patients as they attempt to navigate the health care system and arrive in the right place for themselves and their families. It makes sense—you have a challenge, gather data, compare and contrast, arrive at a decision, and ultimately solve it on your own. What else would you do? So we applaud people for being proactive and expending the energy to fulfill their desired health care needs. We understand why people must act as their own advocates.

On the other hand, we believe that there is a better way. The challenge with self-advocacy is that your situation is unique; therefore, there will be an obvious disconnect if you rely on friends, web searches, and insurance plan summaries to help you make final decisions.

Does your friend have the exact same insurance plan as you do? Does your friend have a son with diabetes? Does the web understand your transportation issues? Does the web know that you have used urgent care and the emergency room four times in the past eight months? Does your insurance plan account for the fact that you desire real-time communication between a set of separate providers? Does your insurance plan explain the treatment options—or is there simply a price and coverage list? And do any of these resources have knowledge of your financial situation?

All of these factors make up a unique starting point profile, and at OnPulse, not only do we desire to understand it, we ask all of the right questions to develop it. Then we assign you an individual health care advocate, who will take all of your needs and concerns, design a plan, implement it, and stay with you every step of the way. 

When you alone line up a series of doctors and prices—even with recommendations—they all, to some degree, must look the same. In the end you will ultimately “choose one.” This sets in motion a series of events (calls, appointments, office visits, diagnoses, prognoses, treatments, questions, follow-ups, referrals, and conclusions) that will soon be out of your hands.

Generally speaking, you have less than a 50% chance to appropriately balance health care cost and quality, unfortunately, that number only decreases when a patient’s case is more complex. 

For most people, health care situations arise unexpectedly which means attempting to understand the unknown. As experienced health team members and leaders, we understand your health events and know exactly the course of action to take. If the situation is unusual, we have exclusive resources that will guide us in the appropriate direction. Because OnPulse utilizes health care professionals from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels - we increase the probability to a greater than 90% chance of our clients maintaining clarity, achieving the desired outcome and managing cost.  

We excel at unifying the big picture by surveying and weighing several key considerations to include your health, your time, your resources, your finances, your benefits and your life.

So even though you started as your own health advocate sitting with a friend or in front of a computer, we at OnPulse firmly believe that many individuals will quickly lose control of the process. Is it time to consider sharing the title of health care advocate with someone who has the time, training, and tools to ensure that you will always be directing your own destiny? Please contact OnPulse today to discover how we will partner with you to save time, money, and energy in your navigation through the health care system.