Posted on: 23 November 2016
Choosing a new doctor or primary care physician for you or your family can be difficult. If you are changing doctors, it could be for many reasons; maybe you are moving to a new area or your old doctor has retired. No matter what the reasoning, choosing someone new to put your trust in and depend on to keep you and your family healthy can be very stressful. There are multiple things to consider during this process.
How Far Is Too Far
Location is a consideration when choosing a new doctor because nobody wants to drive miles to the doctor's office when they are sick or in pain. You may not be able to find a doctor in your neighborhood but look closer to home first then work your way further out if you need to expand your search. Along with their physical location, inquire what hospitals the doctor works with and check to see how far they are from your home.
A Doctor for the Whole Family or Not
In years past, a family doctor was common but that practice has changed a lot over the years. It is common to have a doctor for the kids, one for Mom, and another for Dad these days but if you want one family physician there are a few still out there. If you go this route, choose a doctor that the whole family is comfortable with. You will want to ask how often the doctor refers patients to specialists when an illness or injury is outside their scope of knowledge.
Trust Your Family and Friends
If you have friends that recommend a doctor for you or your family, consider their opinions. It is a good place to start but don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions about the doctor, the practice, and the staff in the office. Remember that you don't have to use that doctor just because your friend recommended them but taking their suggestions and looking into them is okay. The physician might not be a good fit for your family but you won't know until you check them out.
Does the Doctor Participate With Your Insurance
Insurance is a large part of the decision. With more and more insurance companies requiring in network primary care physicians and then restricting who you can see, you will want to be sure that the doctor you are considering participates with your insurance company. While you are at it, inquire whether they process claims for you or if you need to file your own claim after the visit. While most physicians will fill the claim through their offices these days, there are still some that don't ask the insurance questions before even stepping in the office because paying a large bill and waiting to get reimbursed can be very hard to most families.
For more information, talk to a professional like Rural Health Services Consortium Inc.Share