If your health insurance is through your company, there was a better-than-average chance it really is also with an HMO or PPO, this means that at some time you'll be picking a primary care doctor. Lots of people simply look at the preferred provider directory and select the doctor closest in their mind. Some go a step further and make certain the physician they pick is of the preferred sex. Many girls, for instance, prefer to have a lady doctor. While picking the closest practice is not necessarily a poor idea, it is sort of frightening to consider that most of us put more thought into selecting a mechanic or even a hair dresser than we do in choosing the person who is likely to be our partner in health care.
What should you consider when selecting a primary care physician (PCP), then? then? Here are a few points to ponder:
What sort of doctor do you need? PCPs are available in three basic flavors : general practice, family practice, and internal medicine physicians.
Family practice physicians are certified or are board - eligible in the Family Practice specialty, and also have completed specific training in Family Medicine. They usually treat people of all ages, from newborn babies to the old, and they treat an extensive variety of conditions including some things that are often referred to specialists, like OB/GYN care and sports medicine.
General practice doctors are often "family practice" doctors who got their training before family practice was a genuine specialization, but might also include osteopaths, and are not at all times board-certified.
Internal medicine specialists are certified or board - eligible in the Internal Medicine specialty, and also have completed training in that place. Usually, their only patients are adults, and most serious ones (including sports issues) are referred neurological injuries and to specialists., while they do treat a broad number of illnesses.
As a patient, you should select whichever sort of doctor you are most comfortable with.
What specific requirements do you have? Do a male or female doctor be preferred by you? Can it be better if your doctor's office is closer to work, or closer to home? Do you need to find a doctor who has evening and weekend appointments? appointments? Have you got a condition that requires a practitioner? Many of these questions are really important in terms of selecting your PCP.
Narrow your choices. Once you have figured out a couple of possibilities, do some research.
Could be the physician you need part of your insurance company's favorite network? If not, you can still use them, but unless they join your HMO or PPO, it's going to cost more to you.
Could be the physician you want accepting new patients? Some popular physicians or small practices cap their patient lists.
Does anyone you know make use of the same physician, of course if so, would they recommend him or her?
Can your previous physician offer any insight?
Interview the PCP you have picked. You have found a doctor you believe is likely to be appropriate for you, but before you to remain with their practice, you should visit their office, and even interview the doctor. (Make an appointment to get this done, and tell the receptionist what you are doing. They will be confused, but will normally work with you.). Once you make that office visit, pay attention to the following:
Staff: Are they careful and organized? Are they considerate on the phone, and do they answer fairly quickly?
Patient care: How much ahead of time would you need to book an appointment? Which are the doctor's regular office hours, and who provides care if your doctor is away? Just how long to patients commonly sit in the waiting room before a scheduled appointment. Are walk-ins taken in case of an emergency?
Simple access : Does phone be returned by your doctor calls him - or herself, or just the receptionist or nurse. Is it possible to communicate by e-mail? Is there an on-line system for requesting appointments?
If, after you have considered every one of these points, and found that a doctor includes a communication style that meshes with your own, you still such as the PCP you have picked, that is great! If maybe not, or if your requirements change, usually do not feel bad. That is a professional relationship, and you are investing in your health care (even when it is only a co-pay). That means the physician you see is YOUR choice. Most HMOs and PPOs enable you to change health practitioners at least once per plan year, but an explanation will be required by some if you can find multiple changes.
If you are looking for health insurance right now, make sure you apply for a quote here.