Advocacy Spotlight

CHCAO Special Report 2023

"While there are certainly systematic improvements that can be made to the healthcare system over time, professional patient advocates have an important role to play now. In an era where healthcare providers often face time constraints, unable to delve deeply into every patient's unique situation, advocates can capture, distill, and convey essential information, enhancing patient-provider interactions. 

The overwhelming majority (>90%) of patients and providers who have worked with an advocate described it as a positive experience and would recommend it to others. As one author puts it, they bring human magic to problems that patients, payers, providers, and systems face. Independent advocates can help bridge the divide among disparate groups and organizations, reintroducing a personalized approach and reestablishing a sense of empathy and connection that often appears to be missing in today's provision of healthcare services. By addressing the challenges outlined above, the profession of patient and healthcare advocacy will continue to grow and make a positive impact on healthcare outcomes by making the profession more widely known, accessible, and affordable."

-Conclusion of CHCAO Special Report 2023

Read the full report here. 

In late 2022, the Coalition of Healthcare Advocacy Organizations (CHCAO) carried out a broad survey to understand the experiences of patient and health care advocates and assess their impact on the individuals they assist. The survey received responses from over 500 individuals, including 188 patients or family members, 262 advocates, and 91 other healthcare providers.

This publication presents the survey results and contextualizes the concept of patient and health care advocacy as a basis for refining the scope and practice of this professional domain.