CHAI’s Health Care Navigation Plans include a comprehensive review of your medical situation, a clear and concise review of your health care choices, interventions by your CHAI Representative to validate your health care situation, and a review of therapeutic strategies, 3rd party providers, clinics, and other health care options.
Please see below for answers to our clients’ most common questions!
What is patient advocacy – does CHAI do patient advocacy?
Not exclusively, but in certain situations, yes. Patient advocacy (according to Wikipedia) is “…a process in health care concerned with advocacy for patients, survivors, and caregivers. The patient advocate may be an individual or an organization, concerned with healthcare standards or with one specific group of disorders”. Sometimes this means ensuring that people are being listened to by their medical providers, and understanding their diagnosis and treatment options. CHAI goes quite a bit beyond patient advocacy in its mandates with clients including performing research reviews and in-depth cross-checks, examining medical innovation and technological developments, exploring and vetting diagnostic therapies and solutions for efficacy, safety and credibility, working with 3rd party providers in the healthcare system, leveraging professional healthcare networks and associations.
What is CHAI and what does it do?
CHAI is a for-profit organization whose mission it is to enable all who use the healthcare system to get optimal positive personal experiences and outcomes. CHAI as an organization was born from the patient advocacy movement and the desire of its CEO to make a difference in the lives of people struggling to use the health care system. The organization brings together experienced health care professionals, personalized service and specific technologies and processes to enable anyone to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system and improve their chances of securing better health care outcomes.
What differentiates CHAI from other health care providers?
CHAI works separately and independently from publicly funded providers. We are not associated with any hospital, medical clinic, or health region. We work privately and work directly with you to help ensure you experience the best possible care and outcomes from the health care system. We do not provide hands-on nursing care or give medical advice.
Can CHAI help me with a medical negligence claim or other legal matters?
No. We are healthcare professionals, not lawyers. We do not get involved in legal matters. If you already have a lawyer involved in a case, we can take direction from the lawyer in reviewing the specifics of your medical situation.
Do you see people in-person?
No. Our organization leverages remote working for the most part. We work with current forms of communication technologies (phone, email, text, video, and group message boards) in whatever way works best for the client/ family.
How did CHAI come into being?
CHAI is a Canadian business and health care success story. CHAI was the idea of its founder and CEO Paige Lennox. Paige, a critical care nurse for 30 years, saw many people fall through the cracks and had always felt drawn to enable her patients to realize better outcomes when interacting with the health care system. It wasn’t that Canada’s health care system was defunct. She realized that in many cases, in order to get the desired outcome from the healthcare system, many people needed help in understanding how to work with the system in order to have the kind of great experiences that the health care system can offer. Not all people have the same starting point. This insight was most evident when Paige became a caregiver for her mother who had stage 4 cancer. It was in her role of providing care that she experienced the system from the other side. As a nurse, she knew what questions to ask and to whom to ask them. But the whole experience made her wonder what people do that don’t have a medical professional in their family. How do they know what best care is, and whether it is being provided? Paige knew she needed to do something to help and started CHAI 4 ½ years ago.
What’s a NavPlanTM (A CHAI health care navigation plan)?
A CHAI healthcare NavPlanTM is CHAI’s branded solution for individuals seeking to derive improved experiences when using the health care system. A NavPlan is a complete functional, technical and 3rd party provider review of your medical and more general health care situation by a CHAI healthcare professional. CHAI representatives are vetted, qualified and experienced healthcare professionals whose profile and experience most closely matches the situation of the NavPlan requester. An entire NavPlan process includes connecting with a CHAI representative so they can gain a full understanding of your health care situation. Your representative will research your situation fully, communicate and connect with other health care professionals to fully vet your situation including solution options, limitations and considerations to therapeutic strategies and recovery plans, and provide recommendations to you on next steps related to the specific needs you have provided. The completed report will form the basis for the recommendations and these will be fully debriefed with you so that you are best placed to derive better outcomes in your health care journey. Follow up and subscription services enable you to continue to have CHAI work on your behalf should your situation be of a more on-going nature.
How do CHAI’s NavPlans work?
NavPlans begin by having patients collaborate with CHAI representatives to create a shared understanding for a patient’s medical condition – as wide and as deep as necessary. That is the beginning of the process. As all health care situations are different with different details, the NavPlan process enables the patient’s needs and views to be fully understood. The same can be said of ensuring the patient is clear about all medical options and decisions they need to make by ensuring a clear understanding of all medical terms, references and health care system options. CHAI works with the various contact points in the health care system on your behalf to ensure you are clear on what your health care choices and options are. We also ensure that solution therapies are fully explored and fully understood, including the strengths and drawbacks of various options. The NavPlan process can either conclude as a one-off in the case of more standard situations. In the case of more complex situations, there are additional packages that enable you to engage CHAI on your behalf including on-going follow up meetings with specialist clinics and specialists themselves, exploration and vetting of new solution therapies, and complete vetting of new advances in medical technology. CHAI’s mission is to ensure that you are best positioned to fully realize the benefits you deserve from the health care system.
How do I benefit from NavPlans?
Our clients’ feedback and testimonials point to the fact that everyone derives benefits from using the health care system differently. In fact, it was in realising that health care benefits are extremely personal and subjectively experienced differently for every individual that contributed to the concept and development of NavPlans in the first place! Someone faced with a sudden and new lymphocytic cancer diagnosis is going to face different challenges than almost any other patient with a similar diagnosis – and definitely different from the challenges for a patient receiving a diagnosis of a different kind of cancer, but equally potentially life-changing. So have a look at our testimonials to get some insight on how CHAI’s NavPlan process can be of benefit. But the common experience is that CHAI enables patients to realize more value and satisfaction from the health care system for the same reason you get better satisfaction from having a lawyer represent you in the legal system. In today’s complex medical world, expertise, personalized care and knowledge of how the system works are not always available to all people in the amount they need. By engaging CHAI you will be giving yourself the best chance to realize the best potential outcome for your health situation.
Are NavPlans guaranteed?
CHAI NavPlans and CHAI’s representatives are the product of the highest quality best-in-class standards for realizing successful outcomes from using the healthcare system. CHAI’s entire mission and vision is to ensure its clients realize best outcomes and experiences when they engage with the healthcare system. Can we guarantee that we will have a 100% success rate in every situation? That is what we strive for. Please have a look at what past clients have to say about their work with us. We are also extremely proud of the strong and rapidly growing endorsement we continue to win from doctors, private doctor offices, personnel in their offices, hospital doctors and nurses, specialist medical providers and specialist clinics all of whom value CHAI’s role in ensuring that patients understand their health care situation and their options for solutions.
What if my NavPlan doesn’t work – can I get my money back?
Before engaging in a NavPlan, a potential CHAI client can vet all of CHAI’s services, products and the experiences of others to gauge and evaluate whether NavPlans and engaging with CHAI’s representatives are right for them. In enabling potential clients to fully evaluate CHAI before-hand we virtually eliminate all potential for disappointment and outright mis-matches between what potential clients are in need of and what CHAI can provide. As a result, we have had and continue to have an almost unheard of 100% positive satisfaction rate with our healthcare solutions and services
Can I buy a NavPlan for someone else?
Yes. NavPlans are, for the vast majority of our cases, used by individuals for themselves. In the last several years, we have experienced a surge in demand for NavPlans as solutions that people and families could provide for their loved ones. This has resulted in developing and enabling NavPlans to be bought on behalf of a loved one as well as enabling those who can to donate NavPlans for others who would derive significant benefit from them. We continue to work on developing more solutions that meet the growing needs of our customers including advocating for wider adoption of NavPlans for all through government, insurance and employer subsidized programs.
Are NavPlans covered by insurance?
Sometimes. It depends on the specific insurance provider. It is worth checking with your insurance company.
Are NavPLans available for people in rural Canada?
Yes. NavPlans are available to you no matter where you live. We work remotely so that people in rural communities can receive our support as well.
I am a minor – can I get a NavPlan?
Yes. We would need consent from a parent or guardian.
Will my doctor be upset if I engage CHAI to intervene with my doctor on my behalf?
We have had very positive experiences with the doctors we work with. They are usually very happy to have us involved because we can help them as well. We spend time with you that they don’t have to make sure you understand your diagnosis and treatment options based on what is said during the appointment. We try our best to collaborate with doctors rather than be confrontational. Often having a knowledgeable, experienced 3rd party involved can shift the dynamic to move more smoothly.
Will my doctor willingly talk to you about me?
Not without your consent. We get consent from you that gives your medical providers permission to talk to us on your behalf.
What if I have a long-standing illness – can CHAI help?
Yes. We will review with you the history of your illness, and what has been tried up to this point. Together with you we will set some goals for next steps, perhaps reach out to your healthcare providers, and do some research on your behalf. We can support you in making sure good communication is happening between your doctors and you and between your doctors themselves. It is important for people to understand their diagnosis and treatment options so they can make informed decisions.
Will you help me set up appointments (with specialists/clinics etc.)?
If needed, yes. We can arrange all of your appointments for you, remind you of appointments, and participate in those appointments.
What happens when you attend a medical appointment with me?
We would pre-arrange for us to be on a speaker phone or video for your appointment. We would speak with you prior to the appointment and come up with the right questions to ask so we can make the most efficient use of the time with the doctor. We participate as much or as little in the appointment as you would like. We can ask questions that might be forgotten, ensure that you are being listened to, and ask for clarity on what the doctor says. We take notes throughout the whole appointment and provide you with a written summary of what was said including next steps. We will follow up on referrals and requisitions to make sure they were sent and received.
Do you help with understanding medical diagnosis?
Yes. All CHAI representatives have many years experience working in healthcare. We are able to spend time with you explaining and educating about your diagnosis. We believe that informed patients are empowered patients and we strive to make this happen.
If requested, would CHAI speak (intervene) on my behalf to my physician (GP, specialist etc.) to ensure that medical options and therapies are fully vetted, understood and clear?
Yes this is something that we do. We communicate with your doctors to get a sense of what your options are and what resources are available to you. If needed, we will do additional research to explore further options. We will spend time with you ensuring you have a full understanding of ALL your options so that you can make the best decisions for you.
Can CHAI help access home care and other resources?
Yes. We explore different resources with you, ensure you understand these resources, and support you in making decisions about them. We have significant knowledge how the healthcare system works, what resources are available, and the processes that exist to access different resources.
Can I get help with translating medical jargon?
Yes. We have extensive experience working in healthcare settings and are very familiar with the jargon used by medical providers.
I need help with my health care situation – can CHAI intervene on my behalf?
Yes. We can speak on your behalf. We take guidance from you and only intervene with your permission
I don’t trust my doctor – does CHAI offer alternative medical diagnoses?
No. We do not provide medical diagnoses, advice, or direct hands-on care. We can help you get a second opinion and explore other options if you are having a hard time with your doctor. Since there is a physician shortage, it can be a long wait to get another doctor. Because of this, we suggest trying to work with your current doctor and continuing to have us involved. Having an experienced 3rd party involved can help with communication, accountability, and finding solutions in complex or delicate situations.
How can I get CHAI to operate on my behalf?
All we need is an understanding of your current medical situation, what you want the outcome to be, and your consent, and we can begin operating on your behalf. We are not able to make decisions on your behalf, but we can support you in making decisions that are right for you.
How can CHAI help if I am in the hospital already?
We support people while they are in the hospital. We communicate with the hospital staff to ensure you are getting the best possible care. We can get updates from the staff and communicate this with your family members (or whoever you give us permission to pass the information on to). We connect with the discharge planning team to facilitate a smooth transition from hospital to home or long term care facility. We can participate in team meetings between the hospital staff and family and ensure the patient is being heard. Because of our extensive healthcare experience we coach people on questions to ask, who to direct questions to, and how to work with the culture and processes in hospital and other healthcare facilities.
My parent has Alzheimer’s – can CHAI help?
Yes. We can help ensure that your parent has access to the resources they need and deserve. We can offer support to your family and make sure that good communication is happening between their health providers.
Can CHAI help me with a nutrition plan?
Yes. We are not dieticians or nutritionists, but we do research and arrange appointments with these professionals. We help ensure you have access to the resources you need.
I have a disability – can CHAI help?
Yes. We can support you in accessing the resources you need for a high quality of life, participate in medical appointments, and help you with any necessary paperwork. We help with communication amongst healthcare providers and do our best to facilitate continuity of care.
I have difficulties communicating using a computer or telephone – can CHAI help?
Since we work remotely, we rely on the use of technology to communicate with our clients. We will brainstorm with you ways to make our communication work such as having a friend, family member, or neighbour use technology on your behalf.
I am an Indigenous person with health care questions – can CHAI help me?
Yes. We can help make sure you get your questions answered, that you are heard, and that you receive the best possible help outcomes. You might be able to get some of our services covered through your Band office as well. We can help you with the wording to use when you request this from them.
I have a child with a learning disability – can CHAI help?
We are not experts in learning disabilities, but we can help you find the resources you need for your child. We can offer emotional support and help you, as parents, find resources to further support you.
English is my second language. Can CHAI help with communication with my doctor and other solutions providers in the healthcare system?
Yes. We can walk you through the processes of the healthcare system, explain medical jargon, and participate in medical appointments so that you have a full understanding of your health situation, diagnosis, and treatment options. We will ensure that your needs are being heard and that your questions are being answered. We can guide you in what questions to ask, and regularly check in with you to see how things are going. We are here for you to brainstorm ideas as well as make difficult decisions and we support and help in any way we can so that you have the best possible outcomes.
I have a medical PoA (power of attorney) for someone else – can CHAI help?
Yes. If you have been deemed surrogate decision-maker for your loved one, we work with you directly the same way we would if you were a patient able to make their own decisions.
I have just been diagnosed with a life-changing illness – can CHAI help?
Yes. We can help you navigate the complexities of having to adjust to a life-changing diagnosis. We can participate in your medical appointments, ensure your healthcare providers are communicating effectively with one another, and make sure your questions are being addressed. We help people find and access resources they need for the highest quality of care possible and offer support to both you and your family during the process.
I have just been diagnosed with cancer – how can CHAI help?
A cancer diagnosis means a lot of information coming your way, a lot to process emotionally and mentally, and a lot of decisions to be made. We can communicate with your healthcare providers on your behalf, or participate in medical appointments with you. We ensure that you have a good understanding of your diagnosis, what your treatment options are, and what to expect in the coming days, weeks, months. We can support your whole family and facilitate you having access to the resources you need.
I had a stroke – can you help me with understanding my options?
Yes. We take a detailed history of your health situation so we can have a good understanding of your diagnosis, needs, treatment options, and prognosis. We will spend time with you explaining your options and possibly do research on alternative or additional options so that you have all the information you need to make decisions. If you are needing rehabilitation, we can assist in this transition as well by working closely with your healthcare providers.
I have Diabetes – can you help me with understanding my options?
Yes. We start by taking a medical history so that we clearly understand your health journey, how long you have had diabetes, and what treatments you have and are trying. From there, we explore with you your goals and priorities regarding your health. We work closely with your doctors to understand what options they suggest, and we may do some research on alternative and additional options. We spend time with you going through your options, answering questions, and ensuring you understand your options. It is so important to understand your diagnosis and options so that you can make informed decisions. We support you in making decisions that are right for you, and help with communication with your doctors if needed.
I have a chronic illness – how can you help me?
Yes. We will review with you the history of your illness, and what has been tried up to this point. Together with you we will set some goals for next steps, perhaps reach out to your healthcare providers, and research further on your behalf. We can support you in making sure good communication is happening between your doctors and you and between your doctors themselves. It is important for people to understand their diagnosis and treatment options so they can make informed decisions.
I want to use MAID (medical assistance in dying) – can CHAI help?
We can help by explaining the qualification process to you, and by participating in doctors appointments with you, ensuring you understand your options, are enabled to properly evaluate and assess the many considerations that are involved in this process and providing support during the process.
I have a COVID vaccine-related injury. Can CHAI help?
Yes. We can help you think through, initiate and complete the process of the Vaccination Injury Support Program.
I’ve been injured on the job – can CHAI help?
Yes. We can facilitate timely access to appropriate medical care, participate in doctor appointments, and support you in filling out the necessary paperwork.
I have had a workplace injury that has turned chronic – can CHAI help?
Yes. We provide ongoing support to people with chronic issues. Participating in medical appointments, helping with ongoing paperwork, and ensuring good communication between healthcare providers are a few things we do.
I have had a workplace injury and need help with WSIB/ WCB (provincial worker compensation boards) – can CHAI help?
Yes. We can help you gather the necessary medical documents required by your provincial compensation board and help you with the wording on forms. We follow up with your case worker and doctors to make sure the process is as smooth as possible and that they are communicating appropriately and adequately.
I have had a major accident – can CHAI help?
Yes. We can facilitate timely access to medical care, support you while in hospital, and ensure you have the resources and considerations you need for the post-hospitalisation rehabilitation and recovery process.
I have questions about funding and health insurance – can CHAI help?
Some insurance providers are able to cover our services under health consultation. We cannot guarantee this as every insurance provider is different. Some people have been successful in claiming our services at tax time.
I live outside Canada – can I get a NavPlan for my situation?
Yes. A NavPlan is customised for each person and their health situation regardless of where they live.
I live in Quebec – does CHAI operate there?
CHAI’s operating model leverages remote working. Its staff and employees are deeply experienced healthcare professionals and are located across the country, and have experience covering a wide variety of medical conditions. This enables CHAI to be extremely flexible and deliver service in all of Canada’s provinces and territories including Quebec. To date we have helped many families and individuals in Quebec and are familiar with and have a fully developed network and understanding of the workings of the province’s healthcare system.
I live in the USA – can CHAI help me with my situation?
Yes. A NavPlan is customized for each person and their health situation regardless of where they live. Human pathology is the same no matter where someone lives. This together with an ability to leverage expertise in different healthcare systems means CHAI is well positioned to cover many different situations in many different geographic locations..
I live in UK/Australia/Europe/China/India – can CHAI help me with my situation?
Yes. A NavPlan is customized for each person and their health situation regardless of where they live.
Will you help me find a hospice?
Yes. We will do research for you or in addition to what you have already done on different hospice options, and make sure you have all of the information you need to make a decision that is right for you. We can facilitate the process of transferring from home or facility into hospice by working closely with your doctor and other healthcare providers.
Will you help me with getting access to long term care?
We can help with the referral process for long-term care. We research different options for you and provide all of the information you need to make an informed decision. We can arrange tours of facilities and communicate with your health care team to help make the transition as smooth as possible. This can be a huge decision for people, so we try to have them as involved in decision-making as possible.
I have aging parents – can CHAI help?
Yes. We can help support your aging parents in accessing the resources they need to remain independent as long as possible. We can participate in medical appointments (virtually), arrange for medication delivery, schedule appointments, and (need more)
I have aging parents and do not live near them – can CHAI help?
Yes. We can support your aging parent that lives at a distance. We understand how hard it can be when you have your own family, work, and life commitments and at the same time have ageing parents that live at a distance. We can take some of the stress off of you by ensuring they have the resources they need, participating in doctor appointments, arranging medication delivery, arranging for transportation, reviewing test results, and reporting back to the family.
I need someone to physically take me to the clinic - does CHAI do that?
No, we do not currently provide mobility services to people, but we can arrange resources for transport to appointments.
My aging parent is in the hospital. Can CHAI help ensure they get the best care possible?
Yes. We can speak with the hospital staff on your parent’s behalf, coordinate communication, get medical updates, arrange team meetings with the family, and report back to you on a regular basis as to how things are progressing. Sometimes having an experienced and knowledgeable 3rd party involved helps things move more smoothly.
My situation is complicated by family members – can CHAI help?
CHAI’s NavPlan process and your representative ensure that families and groups can follow an agreed process that can lead to a better understanding of medical situations, solution options, and overall better experiences for everyone. NavPlans create an independent “unbiased” and informed position on medical issues that everyone can rely on.
My loved one is dying. Can CHAI help ensure their wishes are followed?
Yes. We can review documents (like advance directives and power of attorney for health), and talk to the family to get a sense of what the person’s wishes are. From there, we can speak to their healthcare providers and advocate for their wishes to be adhered to. We also help ensure people have the resources they need to die at home or in facility with as much comfort and dignity as possible.
I am putting a will together – can CHAI help?
We suggest having a lawyer finalize your will with you. We can help with Power of Attorney for Health (Representation Agreements in BC) and Advance Directives documents. This is when you assign someone to be a decision-maker on your behalf for health decisions if, for some reason you become unable to make decisions for yourself. It also includes discussions about your end of life wishes, writing them down, and communicating your wishes to your loved ones.
Do you keep records of the information we provide you?
Yes. We document everything that transpires during our work with you. We use an online documentation platform that is privacy protected. We can upload medical documents you provide as well.
Google and artificial intelligence can answer all of my medical questions. Why do I need a NavPlan and CHAI?
Our experienced team has a vast understanding of HOW the healthcare system works…including the subtle nuances, which medical providers are important for us to build rapport with, and how to navigate our way through the complexities and challenges. CHAI helps facilitate better communication between your doctors and between you and your doctors. Having us involved in a medical appointment or being in direct contact with your medical team can change the entire dynamics and lead to better outcomes for you. The healthcare system is complex, confusing, and has many moving parts. We are skilled at tying these pieces together, brainstorming creative ways to get what you need, and being an objective third party who can act as the hub of the wheel of the moving parts.