Your primary care provider is more than just a doctor. Over time, your provider will learn your medical history, your reactions to medications and your lifestyle goals, making it essential to choose a doctor who will take the time to understand you and guide you through the health care system.
Primary care doctors help guide their patients through every stage of life. Whether you are looking for a new primary care provider after switching to a new insurance plan or need to make a change after seeing one physician for years, some of our top tips to guide your search include:
The first step in finding a great provider is to talk to as many people as possible. Ask friends and relatives about their providers to help you identify which doctors are best. However, remember every person has a different experience. Even though a provider is perfect for someone else, you don’t have to feel the same way about a physician.
After identifying possible candidates, the next step is to verify if they work with your health plan. You can call the office or your insurance company or check the practice’s website to see which insurance policies they accept. Most insurance plans will change if you see out-of-network providers, so verifying that your new doctor is in-network is essential.
Some insurance companies have information about the quality ratings of in-network care providers. If you have Medicare, you can use the Physician Compare tool to find and compare providers. You can also use the Certification Matters site to see if your provider is board-certified.
Calling a potential provider is a great way to develop an accurate first impression of the practice. During your cold call, you can ask questions about whether the doctor is accepting new patients to gauge the staff’s phone etiquette. You can also inquire about office logistics such as the prescription refill policy and if you can schedule appointments online.
Your primary care provider will be an advocate for you and your health, so it’s vital that you trust them and feel comfortable asking questions. After your first appointment, ask yourself if you felt at ease with your provider, if they showed interest in getting to know you and if they explained things in an easy-to-understand way. If something seems off with your provider, consider a different option.
Choosing the right doctor for your needs means considering various factors. For example, even if a doctor lists that they are in your health care provider’s network, there’s always a chance this is no longer true, as doctors often change their networks without updating their information. Verify if a doctor is in-network by calling their office and asking if a specific doctor accepts your insurance plan. Some additional considerations include:
At First Docs, we provide various medical, social and preventative primary care services. Whether you are looking for a doctor near Levittown, Pennsylvania, or Hamilton, New Jersey, our customized system helps all patients find the appropriate care solutions for inpatient and outpatient settings. We invite you to complete our online contact form today to request an appointment!