Navigation for Healthcare Needs Health Coaching Session November, 2021
Healthcare is the most complex system to understand and navigate. Think of healthcare navigation as the map to guide your healthcare journey. Healthcare navigation helps your specific health needs, whether it is to find a doctor, about a treatment, cost of a procedure, using health insurance network and patient portals, plus much more.
For many people, getting proper health care may feel like maneuvering through a maze and are not well-versed in the process, even with health insurance coverage. It becomes much harder for those without it. The healthcare system can be intimidating, especially for lay people with no background in the medical field. Too often, people get lost - do not know where to go, how to proceed, or what to expect when experiencing a healthcare issue; to the worse, mistakes happen. These decisions are too important – may even be life or death.
Navigation is a powerful tool for healthcare. There are different types of navigations for healthcare provider, consumer, employer, and insurance. Focusing on your health care needs, self-navigation, independent navigation, and case specific navigation are instrumental in patient-centered care.
You should self-navigate the healthcare starting from the your health insurance system, which provide your network access, health providers, medical facilities, benefit coverage, claim processing, and more. Insurance system navigation is most practical for your health needs and cost effectiveness. [In case you don’t have a health insurance, best to start with state health department and community health clinics system.]
Primary care physician selection is important. The key selection factors are professional license and board certification, experiences, hospital affiliation, also consider personal factors of gender, age, language, clinic location & travel distance, office staff, and operation hours/back-up. Recommendations from community and on-line reviews are helpful. Don’t blindly trust medical advertising. If you are not satisfied with the PCP after your visit(s), you can always change and re-select one, knowing that the delivery of Healthcare Quality by healthcare providers has direct impact on your overall wellbeing and medical outcomes.
It is best to self-navigate your insurance website and your patient portal for your privacy protection. Keep your log in information secure and change passwords as needed.
A patient navigator is someone whose primary responsibility is to provide personalized guidance to patients as they move through the health care system. The primary role of a patient navigator is to foster patient autonomy and provide patients with information that enhances their ability to make appropriate health care choices and/or receive medical care with an enhanced sense of confidence about risks, benefits and responsibilities, according to the American Medical Association.
Independent Health Navigation/coaching provide patient-centered services, helping navigate through complex health care systems, removing barriers and bridging the gap between medical services. Health Navigator/coach works with you closely to solve specific problems, direct you to reliable resources and manage information without biased motives.
Health literacy is essential in case-specific navigation, using trustworthy website for information source with precise key words, knowing what to look, where to find, time frame, and how to interpret available data.
Why you need independent health navigation/coaching
When you have specific health needs, independent health navigation and coaching provide client-centered and unbiased service for the best of your interest; who listen to your views and concerns,
Find quality health care providers (Doctors, hospitals) with cost effectiveness; help you explore your options and rights without pressuring you
Understand your diagnosis, treatment plans and what to expect; provide information to help you make informed decisions.
Help you to find relevant clinical trials, enrollment eligibility, and contact the sponsor on your behalf, if necessary.
Educating about health care and empower self-care
Building cognitive and behavioral skills that promote healthy lifestyles and improve health outcomes
Client-centered Services may include the following key functions, based on client-specific needs:
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