How-To Find the Right Doctor For Yourself And Your Family #AMCoffee

Finding the Right Doctor
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With a myriad of medical insurance policies, there are a lot of people who are not that familiar with the doctor choice they could make. Or they do not know how to choose a doctor among a HUGE variety of networks, plans, and what-not.

I decided to address at least some of them here, during our AM Coffee discussion and would ask for your help to add your experience and knowledge to it. Then I would just refer our fans to this page, so they could read up and clarify at least some of the questions they have, to get them started on the process of choosing the right doctor for themselves and their families.

The question of How-To Find the Right Doctor remains vital for many today. Let’s get going, GALZ!

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Comments

  1. Debra Carozza-Lynch says:

    I run an orthopedic practice… And the only thing I can say is: 1st impressions are so important. You need to trust your dr. You should be able to talk about all your concerns & never feel like you are being rushed.

    • Elicia P says:

      Getting rushed was my ain reason to chose a MW. They actually take the time with you.
      I have had pt’s tell me that they go in with a lost of questions when they see their physicians. This way they do not get side tracked or forget.

    • CoffeeTime says:

      Barbara,
      The Baby Center is the BEST site out there for everyday use and for any question on earth, probably.
      It is community-based + they use all Specialists who contribute to it. It is simply the best and up-to-date.

    • CoffeeTime says:

      Debra,
      It’s so cool to get to know you, GALZ, and what you do!
      Are you managing the office or attending to patients?

  2. Elicia P says:

    Thanks Laura. This was informative today. Subjects like this many do not think if until we need it.
    Looks like we are all winners today.

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      thanks congrats winners what a great topic today I will miss you all sunday so have a fablouse day

  3. constance ralph says:

    Thanks for all the info today Laura..I will definitely be checking out babycenter

  4. wendy c g says:

    Congrats winners, I slept in this morning and missed the chat.

  5. Rebecca Swenor says:

    Congrats to all winners and thank you. 🙂

  6. Donna Quarles says:

    I wish I understood how to do this. it doesn’t make sense to me.

  7. AM COFFEE – Sign In!

    • Comment and Say ‘Hello’ to all who will be here with you
    AND
    • Share if you have a MEDICAL INSURANCE TODAY and What kind of difficulties you’re experiencing with locating the right Doctor for yourself and/or your family.

    sign in am coffee

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      good morning ladies have a fav day today yes I do have medical insurance no problem with finding a great DR

    • constance ralph says:

      Good morning. .

    • Elicia P says:

      Morning ladies, was going to do the pedal for prizes UN my community but the rain will not stop.

      I lost my insurance when I went PRN. Was going to do the government’s insurance but they will not allow me (even paying) because I will not go after my son’s father for child support.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      Good morning all. I have Medicate and Medicare.

    • Good Morning from West Virginia. At this point, I have no health insurance. For the average family We can not afford the payments for health insurance.

      • Elicia P says:

        That is the reason I do not. To be put on my husband insurance it would cost us almost $800 a month. Him alone he only pays $64 a month. I looked into getting individual for my son and I that would cost $300 with a $10000 deductible. Luckily I do nit make enough so I am able to use Medicad but really it is just for emergencies. My mom is a PA and I use her for all our medical needs.

    • constance ralph says:

      Me and my husband dont have insurance but my kids do and that is what matters to me..

      • CoffeeTime says:

        Constance,
        You have to have insurance now, so you won’t be punished by paying on your tax returns for next year that you did not have that Mandatory coverage. Check into that!

        • constance ralph says:

          Me and my husband still don’t have insurance Laura..even the Obama care was to expensive

        • constance ralph says:

          We know we will be paying it out of our taxes..it will be cheaper then paying for insurance we cant afford and hardly ever use

    • wendy c g says:

      Morning

  8. am coffee

    Evaluating a Doctor: What to Consider

    FROM U.S. News and World Report

    • What kind of care are you looking for?

    A primary care doctor helps keep you healthy, provides a home base for all your medical needs, and is your go-to when you’re sick.

    A specialist has a deeper but narrower skill set, and may serve only a short-term purpose, like diagnosing a problem or designing a treatment regimen.

    Experts suggest starting with a primary care doctor who can then help direct you to the most appropriate specialist or sub-specialist.

    • The next step is to ask yourself what blend of experience and personality traits are important to you so that you and the doctor will be a good fit. It’s a mix that obviously depends on the relationship you will have with the doctor. If it’s long-term, such as one with a primary care doctor or with a specialist who sees you for an ongoing condition, personality and demeanor will carry more weight than if it’s a one- or two-time encounter with a specialist or surgeon.

    • If a doctor’s gender makes a difference to you, there may be more to think about than just personal preference: Studies have found that female doctors may do a better job than their male peers of providing basic preventive services to both men and women.

    lady doctor

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      oh I do agree with this one about female DR but I have a male GP DR and his is great with my whole family but when it comes to my OBGYN it has to be a female she knows what us women go threw so she is more app to understand my concerns but don’t get me wrong there are some good male Dr to

    • constance ralph says:

      I too prefer a female obgyn. I had the same lady for the past 3 years, I went to her for everthing . She left the place this past year which is a big disappointment. The lady I see now is really nice but we dont have the connection that I had with the previous.

    • Elicia P says:

      I am with you ladies. I use a MW I love her so much. However, win regards to other physicians I actually only prefer females. I had a bad experience with a male physician when I was a kid. Nothing horrible just enough to make me not want males.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      I have a primary Doc but usually see the PA who graduated with my niece. She is only around age 27 but she is awesome. She just started two years ago and I love her because she thinks outside the box. I have a couple doctors I have seen who are specialists. Who know me which is really not a good thing but anyway one is a neuro surgeon and the other is MD who handles athletes. I see him for my neck and arms.

    • I choose a doctor by asking family and friends their experience with a doctor. I went to one doctor that wanted me to try homeopathic meds first. And I tried to explain, I had already tried on my own and it didn’t work. So after fussing with her for over 15 minutes, I finally got a prescription. So frustrating.

      • Elicia P says:

        I met with a MW that was like this. I had already tried what she wanted me to do. The reason I was coming to her was because it wasn’t working. I ended not seeing her again because she was not listening to me

      • CoffeeTime says:

        I do rely on word-of-mouth. In addition, I do research the Establishment and the Network in which this Doctor works. Sometimes, there’s so much happening re: Integrity of the Network, that you would not want to choose a doctor from it.

        • Elicia P says:

          Laura, agree with you there. One bad apple in the bunch makes you want to run even if the other apples are good

    • wendy c g says:

      I have great doctors. It took a long a long time to find kids doctors.

  9. amcoffee

    Finding a Good Match of a Doctor for Yourself

    Most people wouldn’t buy a new car without checking consumer ratings, but they still rely largely on word of mouth to select a physician. Yet with more patients having to choose from a health plan’s list, there is growing demand for information that is more reliable than a friend’s recommendation and goes beyond the rudimentary details available online: a doctor’s hours, educational background and ZIP code.

    NB —> Studies have found that it is hard to get an appointment at short notice when cold-calling, and that patients with a regular source of care get better care, even when they are uninsured.

    Review the list of doctors in your health plan. Consider their location as well as their hospital affiliations. You may want to cross-check your health plan’s list with a top doctors list for your area; these lists (often published in regional magazines like New York and New Jersey Monthly) are usually generated by surveying physicians.

    • Check with your health plan to see whether it has good information on individual physicians (most don’t, but many are working on it). Good quality measures include National Committee on Quality Assurance accreditation about whether doctors meet criteria for care for specific conditions like back pain or diabetes, and the Healthcare Effectiveness Data Information Set, which focuses on adherence to clinical guidelines, like prescribing a beta blocker after a heart attack. Some health plans also offer networks of high-performing or “honor roll” physicians; ask about the criteria.

    What have you done to locate a General Medical Practitioner and Specialists for your Medical care? Please share your TIPS!

    medical consultation

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      well I have had my doctor for 20 years so I would say if you find a good one try to keep them with your new plan or if they are not see about paying cash for your visit they give better rates when you pay cash I have a chriopracter I see now for about 4 yrs now he has took me and my grandson under his wing and he don’t charge me to see him because of what I had to do with adopting my grandson who has autism so he said he wanted to do this for me to repay me for all that I do for my grandson you don’t find to many ppl in this world to do acts of kindness so I am blessed with this

    • constance ralph says:

      I dont have insurance. .so im pretty limited on who I can see. I go to a place called primary care and hope clinic. I really like them though. I only have a 30$ copay and I can usually got in the same day to see my Doc.

    • Elicia P says:

      When I went to interview for a ped when I was pregnant with my son I went through so many. I finally chose one that actually spoke with me (I found a lot I met with the nurse manager which I did not like). He was wonderful. Too bad this past fall he retired.
      I went on a new hunt and honestly could not really find one I liked. It is no secret here anymore. We are non vaxers here. I was literally kicked out of one practice because of it. The practice I chose the physicians are okay with our choice and will not push the issue.
      It was funny because when I told her we were non vac she proceeded to tell me there is no link with autism. I stopped her mid sentence and informed her of my reason.
      She actually was shocked at my education on the matter and told me she respects me for it.
      That sold me on it. I met her partner and he is the one I am not totally sold on.

      • CoffeeTime says:

        Elicia,
        I had a horrible 1st Pediatrician for my son. He was covered with skin rash for 3 months, and she was saying it was OK!
        My OBGYN recommended hers, and when we went for an appointment, that Doc gave us prescription that cleared my baby’s rash in 24 hours! That’s what I call a great doctor.

    • Elicia P says:

      When I went to interview for a ped when I was pregnant with my son I went through so many. I finally chose one that actually spoke with me (I found a lot I met with the nurse manager which I did not like). He was wonderful. Too bad this past fall he retired.
      I went on a new hunt and honestly could not really find one I liked. It is no secret here anymore. We are non vaxers here. I was literally kicked out of one practice because of it. The practice I chose the physicians are okay with our choice and will not push the issue.
      It was funny because when I told her we were non vac she proceeded to tell me there is no link with autism. I stopped her mid sentence and informed her of my reason.
      She actually was shocked at my education on the matter and told me she respects me for it.
      That sold me on it. I met her partner and he is the one I am not totally sold on.

    • Where I live you don’t have much choice, I live in a rural area. We have a clinic with a doctor and a assistant. The assistant is very good, I avoid seeing the doctor if I can. And the nearest hospital is a hour away from home. In the winter time it can be a big pain getting to the hospital.

      • Elicia P says:

        Barbara, hubby wants to move to the country. Great idea but for these types of reasons I am not keen on going too far from the city

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      I go by word of mouth because in our area everyone knows everyone. The insurance I have I can choose who I see but there are some doctors up here that will not see people on Medicaid and Medicare. There is no rheumatologist in my area that will see me. I have to travel over 50 miles to see one.

      • CoffeeTime says:

        Such rare specialists usually do reside at bigger centers, Rebecca. But even 50 miles is worth traveling, if it’s the Right one!

        • Rebecca Swenor says:

          Yep she was the one after like 5 yrs to officially diagnose me with Fibromyalgia. Specialist at Marshfield, 8hr drive, didn’t even exam me. My doc was so mad and complained about that doc. there.

  10. amcoffee

    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND When Looking for the Right Doctor #1

    If you’re uninsured, you may be able to negotiate with a doctor and agree on a reduced fee, but remember that you will also be responsible for the cost of lab tests, blood work, X-rays, procedures and medications.

    These costs are more likely to be covered or charged on a sliding scale at a community health center or hospital clinic. (To find a location, see http://www.hrsa.gov under “Find Help,” or the Families USA Web site, www .familiesusa.org, under “Resources for Consumers.”)

    doctor with syringe

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      wow that’s great information for ppl who don’t have insurance I feel sorry for them but thanks

    • constance ralph says:

      I think the place I go to is a community health clinic..I really like them.your copay is based off your income. And if I need test my 30$ copay covers it

    • Elicia P says:

      I learned recently that the hospital system I work for they are not a community hospital but they offer sliding scale. That really helped me 1.5 yrs ago.

    • Look for clinic in your area. Our clinic has a sliding scale program, people pay based on there income. I have been told some people pay as low as 15.00 a visit.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      When my son who is 23 didn’t have insurance he was put on a payment plan for his income.

  11. amcoffee

    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND When Looking for the Right Doctor #2

    Do ask Questions when at Doctor’s!

    Do keep in mind these tips to minimize your doctor visit costs!

    You may also want to check whether the physician is certified in his or her subspecialty, like treating heart disease or arthritis.

    Some specialties require re-certification every six or eight years. You can check on certification status with the American Board of Medical Specialties, the organization that oversees 24 specialty boards (www.abms.org), and at Web sites like HealthGrades.com and Docfinder (docboard.org).

    doctor with syringe

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      I didn’t know that but yes even pl who have insurance should ask these questions like if they give you a shot and you can get pill form cheaper then skip the shot I just found this out the hard way 30$ for a shot I got and the scrip was 3$ SO do ask questions

    • constance ralph says:

      Thanks for the sites to check..good to know..I always ask if there is a generic or less expensive option

    • That’s info I did not know.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      I know the medical field is always changing and that they to have to get re-certified.

  12. amcoffee

    THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND When Looking for the Right Doctor #3

    Some physicians are posting video clips of themselves on the HealthGrades Web site, so patients can get a feel for their personal style.

    – Angie’s List (angieslist.com) has started consumer ratings of A to F for doctors C
    – Consumers’ Checkbook (checkbook.org) provides detailed consumer ratings of physicians in seven metropolitan areas. (All of these sites require payment.)

    Personally, I do use Angie’s list for any type of service professional like plumbers, electricians, house help, and any type of service you can imagine! I paid $15 per year to look and compare and make sure they are all certified in their area of expertise. I love Angie’s list (not advertising, my personal experience!)

    doctor with syringe

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      well some good facts to find the right DR for you I like word of mouth but them are great advice

    • constance ralph says:

      It stink you have to pay money for these sites especially if you only going to use it once or twice a year. We usually go with word of mouth my inlaws usually have someone on had that they use.

      • Elicia P says:

        Constance, I agree. On a upside you k ow it is just anyone writing a review. On the other hand it does stink to pay if you are going to use it once or twice.

    • No Angie’s List for where I live, But living in a small community, Word of a good doctor travels fast.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      I have never researched a doctor I would go by word of mouth and my mom used to work at the hospital. The doctors use to all know her. So I would get the info from her about the doctors.

  13. amcoffee

    Absolutely an Invaluable Source –> Consumer Reports!

    Give you so many pieces of information of How to find and look for any tupe of a doctor!

    Please check it out, even if you DO have a Doctor! You’ll always find something NEW to keep in mind, especially how To Cut Costs, or How To Make Sure You Are Billed Correctly.

    doctor consultation

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      I am so thank full I have my Dr good luck to all who are looking with all the info you are going to be headed in the right direction

    • constance ralph says:

      I think the bill is a big problem.when my mom had surgery the bill summary was ridiculous.

      • Elicia P says:

        Constance, it is. I worked for a hospital. When we were not busy one day I went on to look at charges. It cost $60 just to per in the cup. Meaning $60 for that speciem cup. That did bot include lab fees.
        I worked in mental health it actually was cheaper to have bed on a mental health unit than a medical unit. Seems silly to me.

    • Never even thought of doing this, Thanks. I Bing or Google a lot of thing to get information.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      That is one thing I am glad that I had the same doctor since I was a child and when he retired I got the doctor I did. My doc was actually a PA but I feel they do more than the actual doctors.

  14. amcoffee

    Finding A Doctor for your CHILD – Pediatrician

    Baby Center is one of the BEST Sources to go to for any information about your child!

    I’ve been with them since my 1st pregnancy, when they keep you in the loop with emails educating about each week of baby’s development as you progress in your pregnancy. It’s been a delight, indeed!

    Here’s their section of How-To’s when it comes to Selecting A Doctor for your baby!

    doctor does injection

    • Karen Hinkle says:

      wow how things have changed but that’s good its for the better

    • constance ralph says:

      I love my kids pedestrian. We have been going to her since we moved here 5 years ago

    • Elicia P says:

      I used BabyCenter a lot. It was actually how I found resources for peds in the area who are vac free friendly. Off of one of the group’s (select/delayed/non-vaxers)

    • I kids are grown now, but, first grandbaby on the way. So Im going to be needing new up to date help and advice.

      • CoffeeTime says:

        Barbara,
        The Baby Center is the BEST site out there for everyday use and for any question on earth, probably.
        It is community-based + they use all Specialists who contribute to it. It is simply the best and up-to-date.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      My kids had the same pediatrician since they were born. My youngest still sees him but he was word of mouth also.

  15. amcoffee

    Heart Doctor – Cardiologist

    Finding the Right Doctor –> American Heart Association

    With the heart disease being the #1 killer in this country, it is important to have the right information references to understand this diseases and then take precautions and finding the right specialist for that, too.

    American Heart Association has an abundance of information just for that!

    Please check it out and read up on TIPS, SYMPTOMS AND ACTIONS when it comes to Heart Disease. It does Save a Life when we Know MORE!

    patient with doctor

  16. amcoffee

    Psoriasis: HOW-TO Find A Good Dermatologist

    Check out one of the recent articles on the Celebrate Woman Today blog “HOW-TO Life With Psoriasis Every Day” by Marjy Berkman. Incredible read not only for people with this condition, but for everyone one of us.

    Here’s one more invaluable source of information on How To Find The Right Doctor –> Psoriasis Foundation. Check them out and learn something you’ve never heard before about your skin, conditions, and on Doctor Practices.

    Some of the tips they give to patients to have a successful Doctor appointment:
    – Have a clear goal for an appointment
    – Have a List of Questions for a doctor
    • Symptoms you are experiencing
    • New medications or dietary supplements
    • Information from other health care providers you see
    • Treatments you are interested in
    – Be Honest with yourself and your doctor
    – Be Specific

    doctor with gurney

    • Elicia P says:

      Having questions written down is what I mentioned above. Really important!!!

    • constance ralph says:

      If I am going to the doc for an issue I’m having I always try to write down my symptoms so I will be prepared and dont forget anything

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      It is always important to have questions for a doctor because something you think don’t matter can be a big part in helping diagnosing you.

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