The Emerging Role of Private Patient Advocates

Private patient advocates work as private consultants for patients and help manage health needs. Services vary from attending doctor visits, researching medical treatments, helping with medical equipment purchases to handling insurance claims, disputing hospital bills, and scheduling appointments.

Barbara Salata was anxious, couldn't sleep and told her family it felt like she was having a heart attack. The 77-year-old Libertyville woman would forget things and generally “wasn't the mom that we knew,” said her son, Bob Salata Jr.

Despite a sleep apnea diagnosis and a sleeping pill prescription, Barbara Salata wasn't getting better.

“It became obvious … we need to get a new team to look at this differently,” her son said. “I needed someone to listen to her. We were desperate to find someone who could find some direction for my mother's health care.”

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