What is Medical Advocacy?
Many individuals living with disabilities have different needs and necessary accommodations when it comes to medical care, such as regarding the use of needles for sensory-driven children with autism. Through medical advocacy, a CICS advocate partners with a family to assure that their child receives appropriate medical care from the child’s providers and doctors. By taking the time to understand your child’s preferences and needs, as well as having extensive knowledge in medical laws, procedures, and interventions, our advocates can represent the child and family in ensuring they receive the necessary medical accommodations.
How can Medical Advocacy help you?
A medical advocate can help by:
- Reviewing medical records and understanding your child to make informed, individualized recommendations on possible accommodations and modifications for their healthcare.
- Developing strategic plans for both the medical care providers and your family to support your child’s needs.
- Being hired by doctors and other care providers to train and educate these parties on how to better understand and be more inclusive for your child and others with special needs.
- Identifying any problems regarding the current medical approaches for your child.
- Attending appointments between medical care providers and your child to advocate for the access to necessary accommodations and treatment processes.
What to expect:
A medical advocate will:
- Ensure the medical provider is providing services and is held accountable as outlined by law*.
- Provide information to parents if the providers and parents cannot come to an agreement
- Ensure appropriate assessments are being used to determine levels and need
- Verify that the medical plan is thorough and based on the needs of your child
- Check that your child is benefiting from all available medical programs
- Review that modifications and accommodations are being properly utilized
- Provide the medical professionals your child interacts with a better understanding of how to better accommodate for and meet the needs of your child.
Our medical advocacy solution is $100 per hour and includes consultation virtually, attendance at medical appointments, and correspondence with doctors, care providers and/or other medical administration. Unfortunately, few insurance plans cover medical advocacy, and so CICS offers a cash payment option for medical advocacy services.
*Please note: while all CICS staff are knowledgeable about laws, we are NOT lawyers. We cannot give legal advice, but can tell you when it’s time to involve a lawyer. There are pro bono attorneys in the Lehigh Valley we can refer you to, including North Penn Legal Services.