By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Getting around the healthcare system can be a nightmare, but there is help available.

When you’re sick and tired, trying to make appointments or figure out medical bills can be overwhelming according to Betty Long, President and CEO of Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates.

“It is so frustrating to not know where to call and even if you do know, not to be able to get the person on the phone to actually speak with you,” Long said. “Then they say you need to come into see me, so you have to make an appointment, then get this test, it’s harrowing,” she said.

If you have difficulty dealing with the healthcare system, Long suggests asking your employer or health care company if there’s an advocate on staff to help you navigate the issues.

“Navigate can be anywhere from the insurance company is saying they won’t pay for a test or pay for my rehab, to I need a second opinion who should I see, what questions do I ask how do I get my records transferred,” she said.

Long says be persistent, take someone with you to appointments, keep a record of bills and test results and ask for help if you get stonewalled.

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