Leverage resources. Hospitals have social workers, case managers, patient liaisons and other advocates who can help you get your questions answered, identify helpful resources and mediate disputes when necessary. They also help in critical transitions, such as from the intensive care unit to a patient room or from the hospital to home or a skilled nursing facility. Some patients may decide to hire a private health advocate, but they can be expensive, costing from $75 to $500 an hour. A patient advocate who is also a physician will charge more than one who isn't medically trained, says Torrey, who says she deals with advocates from many backgrounds with different skills. For patients with chronic or life-threatening conditions who can't afford to hire a private advocate, one option is to go through a nonprofit organization, such as the Patient Advocate Foundation, which provides services without cost.