Saturday, July 11, 2015

How to choose a new doctor

Whether you are searching for a new doctor because of a recent move or you’re just ready for a change, finding the right physician is an important step in managing your health care. Your primary doctor is the point where all your care begins. Studies indicate that having access to good primary care is linked to lower mortality rates, fewer hospital visits and better health outcomes.

Here are five tips for finding the right doctor for you:

Start by determining which doctors are in your insurance network. Doctors in an insurer’s network contract with the insurance provider and agree to accept specified payment rates. If you choose someone outside your plan’s network, your costs may be higher. To find a list of “in-network” doctors and hospitals, call your health insurer and ask for a list of in-network providers.

If you have Original Medicare, search for doctors using Medicare’s Physician Compare at This tool provides information about primary care providers, specialists, hospitals and more. It will also help you find providers who accept Medicare.

Ask for recommendations from people you trust. Check with family members, co-workers and friends for doctors they rely on. You can also ask for a recommendation from other health care professionals including your pharmacist, specialist or dentist.

Consider logistics. Do you want a doctor located close to your home or office? Consider their office hours – what days and times does the doctor see patients? Find out who covers for your doctor when he or she is not in?  Many doctors now use email or an online portal to communicate with patients which may be important to you when selecting a physician. It’s also a good idea to find out what hospital your doctor refers to.

Research your doctor’s background. You can find sites that provide information on certification or educational background at websites like the American Medical Association Doctor Finder and American Board of Medical Specialties Certification Matters.  To learn about complaints filed against a doctor, check with your state medical board.

Whatever you do, please don’t wait until you get sick or hurt and try to find a new primary care physician. By having an established relationship, it will be so much easier for you and your family if or when you require care.

For answers to your life, health or Medicare plan questions please contact me at Mutsko Insurance Services, LLC.Call 440-255-5700 today.


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