Frequently Asked Questions

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What geographic areas do you cover?

Age Smart Advocates is based in the Concord/Walnut Creek area, but we travel throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland, San Jose, Palo Alto, and other areas as needed. Virtual support is also available via video call.

Do you only work with seniors?

Not at all! We have worked with adults of various ages. We specialize in the challenges aging brings, but are certified in patient advocacy for any age.  If we feel we are not the best match for your needs, we may refer you to other advocates.  

Are you a medically trained professional?

No, Age Smart Advocates does not offer any medical advice or service. We do not recommend specific treatments or providers. Nor do we provide any hands-on care. We are here to support, guide, assist, and to gather and provide information. We are not a substitute for your medical team or medical professionals. 

Will my insurance pay for your services?

An independent patient advocate is hired privately by you, for you, or by someone else, for you. We are not a medical service and as such your health insurance will not cover our services. Generally we charge by the hour, but to offer greater flexibility for you, packages and other options are available. 

When is the best time to hire a patient advocate?

You set the pace. When you feel it would be helpful, we are here for you. Some people wait until they are in the midst of a health or family crisis. Others prefer to have an advocate in place before an emergency occurs. Many believe it is preferred to have a plan in place ready to go when needed, but our job is to be there when you need us.      

What does BCPA (Board Certified Patient Advocate) mean?

From the Patient Advocate Certification Board website (https://pacboard.org/bcpa-what-does-bcpa-mean/):  "BCPA is a credential earned by those who have studied and passed the official certification exam to determine their abilities and fitness for serving patients and their families who need assistance with some portion of their journey through the healthcare system. 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)." The exam covers several topics including Ethical & Legal Standards, Healthcare Access, Knowledge of the Healthcare System, Professionalism, Transparency, Rights, and Communication. The BCPA credential must be renewed every three years via retest or completion of 30 contact hours of continuing education (6 of which must be on the topic of Ethics).  

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