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The Case for a Healthcare Advocate, Part III: Navigating the Medicare Maze

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As a follow-up to my previous posts on appointing a HealthCare Advocate (URL) to assist with insurance company interactions, and a second post on the documents (URL) that the Advocate and the client will need to keep on hand, I decided to conduct some additional research with a focus on individuals covered by Medicare as their primary provider.

By law, individuals control access to their own healthcare information, which technically excludes even immediate family members or designated caregivers. However, if the individual wishes to give someone (e.g., family members) access to their medical information, have them submit a written, detailed authorization to their doctors, healthcare facilities and any other treatment-connected entity authorizing this access.  This will allow the Healthcare Advocate to have access to information so the Advocate can assist that person with any necessary ongoing care and paperwork administration.

When a visit is scheduled with a healthcare provider, have your senior complete a new HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) form, which permits the provider to release any relevant health information to the advocate or other authorized individuals. This form, along with the above-referenced letter of authorization, should help keep those advocates fully informed of all health-related issues.

In the event you need a more extensive patient history record to manage care more effectively, you’ll might want to use a Personal Health Record.  A very thorough form can be downloaded from this Website.