you have a provider with whom you feel completely comfortable?
If so, you are well on your way to a satisfying, and beneficial,
healthcare relationship. If not, you should start looking for a
provider who you can rely on for an honest, comfortable and informative
relationship that you can trust with your health. Looking for a
new provider takes some effort. It isn’t as easy as opening
up the phone book and finding the office nearest you. First of
all, you’ll need to find a provider who is covered by your
insurance, unless you don’t mind paying for the expenses
yourself. That means talking to your insurance company or your
employer about a list of qualified providers in your area who are
under your managed healthcare plan. Often, you can find such a
list online at your insurance company’s website. Insurance
companies try to make information accessible and straightforward
for their clients, and usually provide excellent websites. If your
insurance company doesn’t have a website, check your card
for a toll-free number that you can call for information. If you
don’t have insurance, you should be able skip this step and
go straight to looking for a facility that suits your needs, such
as your health department or a regional healthcare clinic.
After you find a list of eligible providers in your area, start
asking yourself what is important to you in a physician. Consider
the following questions.
- Do you want a provider nearby your home or work?
- Do you prefer to visit the provider at irregular hours, like
weekends or late afternoons and early mornings?
- Would you like a provider with an affiliation or “privileges” (the
right to perform procedures at) with a specific area hospital?
- What type of education does the provider have? Where did they
do their residency? Is the provider board-certified?
- Will you see a physician
assistant, a nurse
practitioner, or a medical
- Do you enjoy a friendly, open staff?
- How much time do you want to spend in the waiting room?
- How long does it usually take to get an appointment?
- What is the provider’s policy with emergencies during
- What is the provider’s medication philosophy?
Rank these questions in order of importance, and call provider’s
offices to find out where each one falls in reference to these
questions. When you make an initial call to a provider’s
office, the staff should answer any questions you may have. You
may even make a preliminary visit to meet with the provider, but
you will most likely be charged for this visit.
Click below to read about related topics.
How to Choose
Talking to Your Provider
Getting a Second
Types of Providers