If you’ve recently moved or looking for a change, choosing a family doctor is the first step toward managing your family’s healthcare needs. Your family doctor is your medical home. He or she is the doctor you visit for most family wellness visits, medical needs, routine screenings and non-emergency illnesses.
Choosing a family physician is an important decision since you’ll want to select someone you are comfortable having honest discussion with. You also want someone with expertise in areas that meet your health requirements. Below are five tips that will help in choosing a family physician that fulfills all these and more qualities.
Find In-Network Doctors
Most health plans negotiate discounted, special rates with specific hospitals and doctors in your location, and you pay less out of pocket. Such doctors are called “in-network” for insurance purposes. By visiting an in-network doctor, you also avoid out-of-network charges or having to pay in full from your pocket.
To find a list of in-network hospitals and doctors, search through a doctors’ directory or provider finder on your provider’s website. In addition, you can also call the number found on the back of your membership ID card and enquire on facilities closest to you.
Find a Doctor with Your Health Requirements’ Expertise
Since you have a list of in-network doctors, you can start narrowing it down. There are different types of doctors on the market based on patients they focus on and their specialties. For example, if you have a family member with injuries to the musculoskeletal system, you will need to find an orthopedics in Raritan Valley facility.
A family practice can treat everyone in your family, from newborns to the elderly, for various conditions. On the other hand, internal medicine physicians normally treat adults while specializing in the diagnosis, management and prevention of chronic conditions and diseases.
You also need to consider whether you need a medical professional that’s close to your office or home. Other things you need to think about are their office hours – days and times doctors are available to see patients. It’s also helpful to find out the hospital a particular doctor admits their patients to.
Another thing you need to consider is the language used, to facilitate clear communication. If you are tech-savvy, check whether the doctor uses an online portal to communicate with his or her patients.
Ask for Referrals
Most people are more comfortable consulting a physician that’s recommended by someone they trust, like a co-worker, family member or friend. Ask around and find out which doctor your close acquaintances visit. Plus, you can also ask another healthcare professional like a pharmacist, dentist, or plastic surgeon for recommendations.
If moving, you have the option of asking your current doctor for recommendations in the new area you’re moving to. Specialty doctors like these at cosmetic & plastic surgery clinic in Las Vegas 一 Julio Garcia MD can also recommend family doctors.
Visiting the Doctor
The best way to really know and feel whether you’ve chosen the right physician is by visiting their office for a face-to-face meet. Make sure that you feel comfortable around the doctor’s staff. Plus, your family doctor should be an individual you can trust and rely upon to manage your family’s healthcare needs.
Congratulations on choosing a doctor for your entire family. Make sure that you and your family make a doctor’s appointment at least once a year. For now, the doctor will conduct physical exams and routine screenings.
In case of a health issue, the doctor will usually give you a means of contacting them for an appointment. Some doctors offer different ways of contacting them for simple questions without an appointment.