“The gaps in the U.S. Healthcare system can lead people to personal and financial ruin,” says former trauma RN, EMT, firefighter and current CEO of Prism Health Advocates Deborah Bain. Bain was so infuriated by the financial messes and family chaos that often surprise patients after a healthcare crisis that she started a company called Prism Health Advocates in her home state of Connecticut, which is now expanding its services to the Tampa Bay Area. Bain has hired a group of Registered Nurses based in Tampa Bay to identify, coordinate and advocate for clients in need.
The Tampa Bay Area is especially in need of healthcare advocacy services. “According to the Florida Policy Institute, an astonishing 2.6 million Floridians do not have health insurance. This stat means that many people in the Tampa Bay Area will be on the hook financially for an ER visit or an emergency medical procedure. Many Floridians also lack basic knowledge about how to cost-effectively use their health insurance plans to gain maximum quality at the lowest price.”
Veterans in the Tampa Bay Area also face a unique set of challenges that a healthcare advocate can solve. “Wait times at the VA and confusing paperwork do a great disservice to our men and women in uniform. Prism can help veterans in Tampa Bay cut through the red tape and get the care they deserve.” These systemic problems have brought the Florida healthcare industry to the brink of chaos.
Prism serves its clients by researching specialists, laying out treatment options in plain English, comparing pricing on medical procedures, negotiating down the cost of medical bills and setting up payment plans with healthcare providers. Prism saves its patients an average of 20% off medical bills and once saved a client $57,000 in healthcare expenses.
A healthcare advocate thankfully is well versed in the complexities of the U.S. healthcare bureaucracy and knows how to find the best doctors and clinics, make sure the proper questions get asked and coordinate appointments and schedules for multiple providers. Prism’s health advocates also professionally navigate through the healthcare maze with an experienced, targeted approach in order to negotiate cost reductions and payment plans where needed. All the advocates in Prism’s Tampa Bay division have a fierce desire to fight for their client’s access to quality healthcare and protect their wallet.
Moreover, Prism has expanded its services to meet the needs of corporations and organizations. This program is a value added benefit to employees, helps employers cut down on the astronomical cost of health insurance and works cohesively with a company’s healthcare benefits package. Prism’s program provides this added value through an advocacy managed care system that helps control benefits spending without impacting access to quality. This feature is especially valuable for the high risk, high insurance cost employees in a corporation’s workforce. Prism accomplishes this cost savings through education, early detection screenings, preventative care, coordinated usage of the healthcare system, support with management of chronic diseases and effective organization and negotiation of unpaid medical bills.
“I’m looking forward to working with our advocates in Tampa Bay to help our clients overcome the hurdles our healthcare system throws at them,” Bain said. “You wouldn’t step into a court room without a lawyer, so why would you step into a hospital without an advocate looking out for your well-being?”