In a world of complex and confusing healthcare, care coordinators are the answer to any patient or caregiver’s prayers. Otherwise known as a patient advocates, a care coordinator is that one person you can turn to when you don’t know where to turn or when you want to avoid the frustrations that come along with navigating the overwhelming task of managing your healthcare. Let’s dive into more depth to answer the question, what is a care coordinator?
As it stands right now, our system is notoriously fragmented and complex. Despite the fact that most healthcare providers are now using electronic data systems, the sharing of patient information between providers is still difficult. Patients are being treated by multiple providers who don’t talk to one another and they are therefore not receiving efficient and effective care. Then when the bills arrive, patients are confused and end up paying more than they should simply because it is too difficult to get the right person on the phone to assist them. It’s no wonder patients have so much fear, confusion, frustration, stress, anxiety and overwhelm about their healthcare, especially for the aging population who has more health concerns to worry about.
Patients need someone on their side because we are still dealing with a fee-for-service system that makes money by doing procedures instead of a value-based system that gets paid to keep people healthy. How do you know whom you can trust when your healthcare providers only get paid if you need a procedure? Who is on your side, fighting to keep you from needing a procedure in the first place?
A care coordinator helps resolve all of those issues by providing patients with one point of contact that they can turn to for all of their questions and issues. Instead of feeling lost, not knowing who to contact, and instead of getting frustrated as you are passed from person to person when you need to resolve an issue, your care coordinator serves as your patient advocate. They’re on your side, resolving issues for you and helping you to receive the best care possible.
Solutions & Resources
Care coordinators help navigate everything that has to do with healthcare. They will consult with you about your needs, recommend healthcare providers, services and products that would be right for you, help you connect with the resources you need, and some even provide basic legal advice. They help patients understand complex medical explanations, diagnosis and medical jargon. Care coordinators are also a great asset when it comes to billing and managing payments. They can help you make heads or tails of your bills and can even work on your behalf to lower payments.
Many care coordinators serve as health coaches as well. For example, CarpeVITA Care Coordinators help their clients create a Personalized Care Plan, develop the steps to carry out their care plan, and then provide the necessary follow ups with the patient to ensure compliance and results. They can help patients determine if certain services like home care are needed and how often, and help arrange appointments and make recommendations for physical therapists, specialists, etc. Care coordinators also often provide in-depth clinical research to help you determine the best course of action for an illness or disease.
Essentially, care coordinators save patients stress, time and money. They take care of the tedious details and help patients receive better health outcomes at a better value.