We all want to make sure we have the best primary care available, but how do you find a good doctor? You may need to choose a doctor in your health insurance network. All health insurance providers list the providers in their network – this is your starting point. Your primary care physician is the gateway to specialists, testing, annual physical examinations and treatments. Building a long-term relationship with your primary care physician can improve the quality of your care. Follow these tips to find a good doctor:
Ask your friends and colleagues about a doctor they recommend.
If a friend or colleague has a doctor they like, the provider may be in your healthcare network. Your employees probably have access to the same list of doctors that you do through your health insurance, which increases the chances of finding a good doctor through employees at work.
Check the doctor's site.
You want a primary care physician located near your home or office. Choosing a doctor in your area or nearby makes sense. When you or your child becomes ill, you want to see your own doctor who is nearby.
Meet in person.
Popular doctors often have many patients. Take some time to discover how long you have to wait to see the doctor. If you have to wait months, you have the choice to wait or move to another doctor on your list. You should feel comfortable with the doctor, so it is important to meet in person. If your doctor practices in a group, check if you will see your doctor when you make an appointment, a medical assistant or another doctor.
Physicians can be certified in various specialties, such as pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, or specialists in geriatric medicine. If you have a specific health condition, it can be a bonus to choose a primary care physician with certifications in that specialty. You can apply for a doctoral degree through the American Board of Medical Specialties .
Evaluate the office.
Does the doctor's surgery seem to be clean and well maintained? How long do you have to wait after arriving at the office or clinic? A clean and comfortable office with friendly staff makes a difference in the overall quality of care.
Search for disciplinary action or claim for damages.
You may want to seek medical attention through the Board of Physicians in your state to determine if he or she has been the subject of many lawsuits or disciplinary actions. If a doctor seems to have a series of these complaints, you may want to move on.
Retaining a primary care physician you trust.
Most health insurance plans allow you to choose an out-of-network primary care physician, but it will cost more for a visit. If you already have a doctor you want to continue seeing, find out what network they are in before you buy your health insurance. If there is a hospital in your area that you trust, make sure it is in your network.
When you need help, give us a call.
When you have questions about health insurance, how to apply, switch to another plan, or make sure you have the best coverage, contact one of our friendly local agents for assistance. We can help make a complicated process softer and work hard to find the plan that suits you and your family best.