ACO PATIENT ADVOCACY: Assertive Compassionate Optimal support for patients, families, and caregivers.

Founded by Ardell Otten, a Board Certified Patient Advocate, ACO Patient Advocacy helps patients navigate the complexities of the healthcare system to make sure they receive the care and support they deserve.

As an independent advocacy and support organization, we help patients get more from doctors’ visits, understand medical bills and have access to all the information about their care.

We are not employed by a hospital, insurance company, nursing home or any agency which may be more attuned to their interests above the patient’s.

How We Help:

  • Compile your health care record so that your information about providers, medications, emergency contacts, advance care directives, and other medical/healthcare information is accessible in one place when you need it.
  • Facilitate effective communication between you and your health care team, including in-home supportive services.
  • Maximize your understanding of your diagnosis and/or treatment options made by your health care team.
  • Identify health insurance resources.
  • Understand your insurance coverages.
  • Negotiate with your insurance company.
  • Understand your medical bill, including denials of payment.
  • Find medical specialists and other healthcare providers.
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities.

Why Choose ACO Patient Advocacy

ACO Patient Advocacy can help eliminate confusion so you get the best results from your healthcare experience.

Ardell has over 25 years working in healthcare organizations including academic medical centers, comprehensive health centers, public health services and medical research. In these experiences, she has gained the perspective and skills to communicate effectively with patients, medical and other providers covering the broad healthcare continuum.

The following published articles represent examples of Ardell’s longstanding commitment to improving healthcare:

Creative Revenue and Cost Containment: Prescription for Public Hospital Survival: Quality Review Bulletin: Galaif, Chan, Otten.

Reaching Out to Patients: Administrative Radiology: Otten, Yaffe.

The Weingart Center: Innovative Solutions for providing healthcare to the homeless (Galaif, Otten)

About Ardell Crite Otten, BCPA

“I am an assertive, compassionate, optimal service supporter for patients, families and caregivers because I believe everyone deserves the very best health care.”

Ardell’s health career began in the Los Angeles County Health Department while still an undergraduate student at UCLA. After completing her academic studies, she worked for more than 25 years in administrative and management health care positions. During her career she has always focused on improving patient satisfaction and outcomes.

Ardell became a Certified Patient Advocate because she is passionate about supporting patients in navigating our complex medical and health care system. She believes that in helping patients she is also supporting the efforts of the doctors, nurses, insurance companies and others involved in the healthcare continuum, to provide the best services to their clients.

Ardell provides advocacy services for patients in several states and is available to help patients wherever they are in need. She enjoys writing, golf, long walks and spending quality time with her adult children and grandchild.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a patient advocate?

Health care is becoming more technologically and specialty driven.

More patient information and communication is transferred electronically often leaving patients who do not use technology well out of the loop.

As Americans live longer and patients see more medical specialists, information sharing between health care providers and with patients requires more effort.

Being a patient can be stressful and your illness, medication and insurance may be confusing. An independent patient advocate can provide peace of mind while supporting you through your medical challenges.

Insurance companies wield great influence on how health-care is delivered, who pays and how much. Sorting through bills, denials and payments can be time consuming and costly.

What is an independent certified patient advocate?

Board certified patient advocates have demonstrated a high level of achievement, proficiency and a broad base of knowledge in patient advocacy. Certified professionals pass a rigorous exam and commit to ongoing professional development and recertification to maintain competencies relevant to patient advocacy. If you see the BCPA initials after someone’s name, they have earned this designation. The credential was developed by the Patient Advocate Certification Board (PACB). Learn more about PACB here.

An independent private advocate focuses on that one patient at a time who needs his or her help and is not employed by a hospital, insurance company, nursing home or other employer.

Is my information confidential?

While we do not provide medical care, we adhere to the strict federal HIPPA laws and respect our client’s right to privacy in accordance with all relevant laws and regulations. We safeguard and protect the confidentiality of all medical records, the identity of, and communications with our clients.

Does insurance pay for patient advocacy services?

Currently, insurance does not pay for advocacy services. ACO Patient Advocacy bills patients or their designated representatives at rates specified and agreed upon prior to service.

How much does a patient advocate charge?

Fees for independent patient advocates may range from $75 to $250 hourly, depending on the requested services. Some advocates bill on a per case or project basis.

ACO Patient Advocacy rates are within the customary range and are based on the services you request and we provide. There will never be a surprise charge or bill.

Contact Us

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