Methodist Hospitals: How to select a physician - March 19, 2015

Courtesy of NWI Times

When it comes to the health of your and your family, you want physicians that understand you and will be there whenever you need them.

Finding a personal physician is an important step toward a healthier lifestyle.

The best physicians offer you a cooperative relationship in an effort to monitor your health. They provide creative solutions to health issues, as well as inform you about basic information.

Here are some elements to consider when you are searching for a new doctor.

INSURANCE

Your health insurance carrier may limit your choice of doctors. Insurance companies have contracts with individual physicians or group practices. It is likely that you may not go beyond your insurer’s provider network without paying an additional fee.

Your primary care doctor should be able to understand your medical needs, as well as offer you appropriate referrals should you need a specialist.

It is possible that using a doctor outside your insurer’s primary care network may subject you to out-of-pocket expenses.

Methodist Physician Group doctors accept most public and private insurance plans. Go MethodistPhysicianGroup.org for an up-to-date list of accepted insurance plans, as well as complete profiles for every Methodist Physician Group doctor.

 
MEETING YOUR NEEDS

Experts recommend selecting a family medicine or internal medicine physician to serve as your primary care doctor.

Under some circumstances, it is better to select a doctor practicing within a particular specialty.

Women may feel more comfortable with an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) as a primary care physician. A pediatrician might be the primary care physician for children. Seniors may select a geriatric specialist for their primary care physician.

ASK FOR REFERRALS

Friends, family and other trusted sources are a good way to find a new doctor.

People will gladly give referrals when they have had positive experiences with their health care providers. They will also provide feedback when the experience was not to their liking.

Prior to making a final decision, always confirm that your physician has a current license to practice in Indiana. This licensing body will also tell you if he has any pending disciplinary action or complaints.

Not every doctor accepts new patients. Once you have collected a list of possible physicians, contact them to make sure they will accept new patients, as well as the insurance you carry.

QUICK TIPS

1. Check with your insurance carrier to find out which doctors are covered.

2. Select a doctor to serve as your primary care physician. This could be a family doctor, an internal medicine physician or a more specialized physician such as an ob/gyn or geriatric specialist.

3. Ask family and friends for referrals for their best health care providers.

4. Confirm that your physician has a current license to practice medicine in Indiana.