Choosing a healthcare provider is one of the most important decisions you will make for your health. Your healthcare provider will naturally influence your medical decisions, and these decisions can have long lasting effects on your physical and mental well-being. Here are four of the most important things to keep in mind as you choose the right healthcare provider for yourself.
Do They Accept Your Insurance?
Before your heart is set on a specific provider, it’s a good idea to make sure they accept your insurance. You might find a provider that checks every box, but if your insurance won’t cover treatment it can be difficult for you to afford multiple visits. If you don’t have the flexibility to use an out-of-network provider, then you can always ask the provider if there’s anyone in-network that they would recommend. They may be able to direct you to another provider who shares the approach to care you found so appealing in the first place.
Do They Offer the Services You Need?
Having a medical home for all of your healthcare needs is a key part of consistent, quality care. You might need to visit a specialist at some point, but if you can avoid skipping between practices for care you’ll be better for it. Moving between practices for one service or another is certainly do-able, and telehealth software has made it easier for doctors who share patients to connect, but having a dedicated medical home offers a higher quality of care and personalized attention. Your doctors can partner with each other and with you to make sure you’re getting the treatment you need. Keep in mind the services you need as you begin your search so that you can find a healthcare provider that meets all of them.
Do They Share Your Values?
One of the lesser talked about considerations while selecting a healthcare provider is that of value-alignment. You should make sure that whatever you believe is the most important can be shared with your doctor and that their healthcare values align with yours. Are they family focused? Do they believe that mental and physical health should be addressed in tandem? Are they dedicated to helping with lifestyle changes to end chronic conditions? Your doctor will be your greatest partner in your healthcare journey. Find a provider who shares your values and you will have a supportive, productive relationship.
Are They Accessible?
With more and more businesses establishing an online presence and even investing in smartphone apps, you want to make sure that any potential providers offer constant access to care. Telehealth software is becoming more and more prevalent, which gives patients the flexibility to connect with their doctors whenever and wherever they might need to. Healthcare providers, who offer their patients a 24/7 answering service give patients access to care outside of regular business hours. The best 24/7 answering services are staffed by real people, so patients can be sure that their concerns are being heard and will be passed on. If your potential healthcare provider offers a 24/7 answering service, you can be more confident that the provider is committed to the health of the patients under their care.
It can take a dedicated search to find the right healthcare provider, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor.