When it comes to finding the right doctor, it truly is a personal choice. You want to be able to find a primary care physician that is accessible, and truly concerned for your wellbeing. You want to have that same sense of security if you need to visit a specialist.
While the coronavirus pandemic has made going to the doctor’s office much different than we’re used to, there are still plenty of easy ways to find that high-quality doctor you deserve.
Personal Preference in Primary Care
Think of looking for a new primary care doctor as you would buying a new truck. You want a great deal for yourself. For a new vehicle, you want to get the right model at affordable monthly payments and work with a car dealer who is more concerned about your needs than covering the sticker price. When looking for a primary care physician, you want someone who is accessible, has appointments available at the best time for you, and a care team surrounding them that cares about your health too.
To put it into perspective, the best time to buy a new truck may be around an annual sale like Labor Day or Presidents’ Day, or wherever your bank account is prepared to take on a lease and monthly installments. The best time to find a doctor is now. Whether the reason is your moving or your current doctor is planning to hang it up, be sure to consult with anyone from your current care team to even family members. Any suggestions should be welcomed.
Looking for Specialists
Don’t think of tossing aside a doctor as tossing away last year’s model. That member of your care team could have a good idea for benefiting your next steps. Let’s say you are online searching “find a cardiologist near me.” Consider what you are looking for in a cardiologist or any specialist that can help to improve your heart health.
Don’t hesitate to do some online research in order to find nearby cardiologists who may have greater fluency in your particular ailments, or be more accustomed to, say, elderly patients as opposed to younger ones. With in-person visits limited by the coronavirus pandemic, take advantage of telemedicine appointments as a consultation with these specialists. Think of it as a test drive to see if your personalities mesh and that they have an understanding of your health situation, and some concepts on approach.
Think about your future state and take into account things like where this specialist’s office is located, the length of wait for an appointment, and their accessibility for any questions.
Make sure they accept your coverage.
Whatever a physician’s specialty and however kind and understanding they may be, you may not want to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket costs for every visit. That’s why it’s recommended that your research includes filtering through your insurance company to make sure that doctor takes your coverage.
While most doctors accept Medicare, they may not accept certain secondary insurers. Be sure to look into this through your insurer or checking with the physician’s office to assure that you suddenly don’t have a mountain of paperwork trying to overturn a claim.
As you try and figure out the best primary care physicians and specialists for your care team, consider evaluating the basics of value stream mapping. Value stream mapping is an organizational tool used by businesses to show the flow of material and prioritize customers. Through current state maps and future state maps, companies determine overproduction and wasted resources. These are values to consider for yourself to make sure you are finding the right doctors for yourself, while not jumping over a number of hurdles just to get the quality of care you want and need.