For Great Health Care, Fill the Care Gaps
For consistent, top-quality healthcare, it helps to be proactive.
Many people think getting great healthcare is about finding the best doctors and going to the top hospitals. Those things help, but they're just the beginning. Even at great hospitals, healthcare gaps can leave room for poor care.
Care should be seamless. This requires each doctor on your medical team to know what others on the team are doing. Your medical records and health history should be clear, up-to-date, and accessible.
This is why it’s important that you feel comfortable communicating with your providers, putting them in touch with each other, and making sure they have the information they need. You’ll also get better care if you understand how your health insurance works and how to make the most of your coverage.
Bridging Potential Healthcare Gaps
Here are a few examples of potential care gaps and how you can avoid them by being proactive:
- When you move to a new home, there's so much to do that finding new doctors may not be a priority — until something goes wrong. Avoid care gaps by vetting the doctors and facilities in your new area, finding providers you trust, and asking your previous doctors to transfer your records.
- When you see an orthopedic doctor, they may ask how many physical therapy sessions your insurance will cover per year — and whether occupational therapy is included in that number. This often varies from policy to policy, so check with your insurance company in advance. Ask the doctor if more appointments would be helpful, and if so, consider paying out of pocket for them.
- If a loved one will be discharged from a hospital and transferred to a long-term care facility, keep in mind that hospital social workers are often very busy and may not have the time to research which long-term care options will best meet the patient's unique needs. You can help by doing your own evaluation and by communicating with the patient's doctors to make sure their new providers have all the information they need.
How Health Advisors Help Close Gaps in Care
Navigating the healthcare system on your own can be overwhelming — especially if you or a loved one are facing just a new diagnosis, struggling with a mental health issue, or coping with a chronic condition. No matter what healthcare issue someone is facing, an expert health advisor can simplify the process, easing the burden on the patient and their family.
The Better Health Advisors team includes senior nurse practitioners, social workers, counselors, and a medical advisory board. We know what each provider needs to be successful and what questions they're going to ask, so we're able to serve as a liaison between the patient and their medical team. We connect with patients on a personal level, answering medical questions in plain English and providing emotional support throughout their healthcare journey.
Health advisors can be helpful in the examples listed above, as well as in many other ways, including:
- Communicating with a patient's psychiatrist, and arranging for an expedited sleep medicine appointment, as well as appointments with a primary care doctor and a neurologist.
- Collaborating with an oncologist to determine if there are any clinical trials that would be appropriate as part of the patient’s cancer treatment.
- Talking with a patient's substance abuse counselor to find them a great psychiatrist, therapist, and gastroenterologist.
- Working with a patient's psychiatrist to quickly locate an inpatient eating disorder program.
I started Better Health Advisors because I wanted to help patients close gaps like these. In the past six years, I discovered that many people also needed help bridging related gaps outside the healthcare system. Today, my team works in collaboration with patients, healthcare providers, and other outside experts. Examples include:
- Connecting with a wealth advisor who needs to know the approximate cost of a long-term care home for a patient. (Up to 20k a month.)
- Updating an accountant on how much to budget for Medicare health insurance. (Up to $1500 a month.)
- Helping an estate attorney determine if a MOLST end-of-life care form was completed properly for the medical team to interpret if needed.
For help managing your health care, reach out to a trusted health advisor. Health advisors provide concierge services, impartial insights, care coordination, ongoing support, and more, to make sure you get the best possible care.