We occasionally have members who need help finding a Primary Care Physician. Sometimes members are not satisfied with their current doctor, other times they’ve moved and don’t have anyone they trust in the area for recommendations. Together, Health Advisor and member walk through the steps it takes to find the best Primary Care Physician for them — taking the member’s needs and preferences into account. It all boils down to 6 simple steps:
01 Get a list of doctors that are covered by your care plan.
Call or go to your insurance provider’s website/portal, and take note of which in-network physicians are currently accepting new patients.
#ProTip: Often websites will have the option to sort the physicians based on their proximity to your zip code.
02 Make a list of 3 characteristics you can’t compromise on.
For example: Female, within 5 miles, who specializes in Pediatrics
03 Narrow Down
Narrow the list of doctors that your insurance company provided to ONLY those that fit at least 2 of your criteria.
Websites like Healthgrades.com and RateMDs.com are great sources to see how other patients have rated physicians in your area. Use these reviews to narrow your list down to those that seem like a good fit for you.
Remember that not all physicians will be listed here and some great doctors may not have stellar reviews – be sure to READ the reviews in order to see why a doctor got a low mark. Oftentimes this could just mean that MORE people have reviewed the doctor.
For example, maybe a better choice would be a doctor with a 3.5/5 rating who has 115 reviews over a doctor that has a 5/5 rating and only 2 reviews. However, it’s up to you to do the digging!
Now that you have a shorter list, it’s time to start calling the offices.
Be sure to ask:
- if they are accepting new patients at the moment and
- if they accept your SPECIFIC insurance plan.
#Protip: Stay organized! It’s important to write down when you called and who you spoke with.
It may take a few tries with a couple different doctors to find the right fit for you. It’s important to be patient and to know that it is IMPORTANT to find a doctor that listens to you and with whom you feel comfortable.
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