On this episode of the podcast, Terry and Bob discuss health insurance plan benefit design and the critical role of nurse navigators who can help patients contend with the complicated American healthcare system.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed or confused in your health care journey? Many patients juggle numerous phone calls and appointments with labs, pharmacists, and specialists, while also trying to understand what is and isn’t covered. To help, some health plans have recruited nurse navigators, like Faith Barron. These crucial health plan players act as point people to help personalize treatment and navigate care.
Terry and Bob also discuss the significant equity issue associated with the lack of Black patient participation in Alzheimer’s medication clinical trials. This lack of representation is especially troubling given that Black Americans disproportionately struggle with the disease. Terry highlights a new blog post she’s written on this topic.
Faith offers a look into the role of nurse navigators and how she helps patients find high-quality providers, understand their medical claims, and triage communication from all care team members. She explains the value for patients in having a direct contact to someone who can handle continuity of care and locate doctors and specialists.
Faith explains how she provides key services and reminders to patients to maintain their preventative care to avoid unneeded hospitalizations and expenses. She makes the case that all benefit-design plans should incorporate such nurse navigators.
Field correspondent Kate Pecora speaks with one of Faith’s patients, Sheridan Keck, who shares how Faith guided her through her cancer diagnosis. Sheridan explains how having Faith as her nurse navigator, offered through her husband’s employer, has been a blessing in her cancer fight. She highlights how Faith helped her with appointment logistics and planning.
With Faith’s help, Sheridan never had to get involved in the financial aspects of her care, leaving her free to focus on getting better. She even had her deductible waived. A nurse navigator, Sheridan explains, was her saving grace.