A patient advocate is a compassionate health care worker who strives to support a patient and promote that patient's rights and best interests as they pursue health care services. The patient advocate may work for a patient who is healthy or ill. Sometimes patient advocates help patients with insurance claims, and they may also review hospital bills to make sure the patient isn't been unfairly charged. If facing a difficult diagnosis, the patient may turn to the advocate for help in understanding the illness. Patient advocates also often promote wellness and health living choices.
Patient Advocate Job Education Requirements
In order to obtain most patient advocate jobs, you should have at least a bachelor's degree in health, health education, or health promotion. Also, some employers require further education and certification beyond a bachelor's degree. A patient advocate will also be responsible for staying current on information in the medical field and may opt to take continuing health-related courses.
Patient Advocate Job Market
The job market for patient advocate work is thriving, and it's projected to go up. Patient advocate jobs should increase at a rate of 21 percent within the next decade - a quicker growth than what's expected for the average of all other occupations. As the elderly populations increase and more people find themselves with health care coverage, patients will need advocates to help them navigate a sometimes complicated system.
Patient Advocate Job Salary Information
Patient advocates can expect to earn a median annual salary of around $49,000. Those who have a lot of experience in patient advocate jobs may very well earn over $86,000 per year, while those who are entry level may earn under $30,000 per year. Although other healthcare positions, such as registered nurses and physical therapists, may command higher salaries in general, many healthcare professionals prefer patient advocate work.