UIndy launches state’s first ‘Health Care Consumer Advocacy’ bachelor’s degree

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 19, 2014) – The University of Indianapolis is launching the state’s first “Health Care Consumer Advocacy” bachelor’s degree.

As Hoosiers sign-up for health insurance on the federal exchange, the UIndy staff says it's an example of why this new role is so important.

“With all of the changes in the Affordable Care Act, it's become apparent that the hospital is no longer the primary source of care for most of our patients, and that means a lot of outpatient services are blooming,” said Norma Hall, Director of Graduate Programs in UIndy’s School of Nursing.

As those services bloom, the demand for patient support is growing.

“We did a survey of the local health care industry, which included many hospitals and insurance agencies, with regards to, was there a need for this role – and we got a resounding ‘yes,’” Hall said.

“With many of our patients having health insurance for the first time, they don't know how to go about getting the best care for the best price,” Hall said.

“This job role can help people navigate the complexities of insurance -- where to find the type of care that they need.”

The degree can be finished in two or three years, depending on the student’s prior education.

“We’re the first in the state of Indiana to take on the next step in looking into what health care is doing and responding to the needs of the healthcare community,” Hall said.

“This degree will help change the landscape of healthcare, in that; we will provide a service that has never been seen before in the local healthcare market, that is vastly needed," she said.

Some students have started classes to work towards the new degree. At least 11 students already declared it as their major.