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Ashford Insurance

In Search of the Right Doctor?

Picture of Sarah Fuhrmann

Sarah Fuhrmann

Sarah Fuhrmann is an agent of Ashford Insurance an independent health insurance agency specializing in Texas Medicare insurance.

Finding the right doctor has become much easier with the help of modern technology. Today, there are various websites that provide detailed information about doctors, including their professional histories and patient reviews. Here are some helpful sites and tips to get you started on finding the right doctor.

In Search of the Right Doctor?

Finding the right doctor has become much easier with the help of modern technology. Today, there are various websites that provide detailed information about doctors, including their professional histories and patient reviews. Here are some helpful sites and tips to get you started on finding the right doctor.

Tips for Finding Good Doctors

  1. Get Referrals: Ask trusted friends, family members, and healthcare professionals like doctors or nurses for recommendations. Personal referrals can be very reliable.
  2. Check Your Insurance: Contact your insurance provider for a list of in-network doctors. This ensures that the doctor you choose is covered by your plan.
  3. Medicare Options:
    • If you have Original Medicare, use the Care Compare tool on Medicare.gov. Click on “Doctors & Clinicians” to find doctors by name, specialty, or location.
    • If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, visit your plan’s website or call them for a list of approved doctors.
  1. Verify Insurance and Availability: Once you have a list of potential doctors, call their offices to confirm they accept your insurance and are taking new patients.
  2. Consider Hospital Affiliation: Your doctor’s hospital affiliation can affect where you receive hospital care if needed. Use Medicare’s hospital comparison tool to check hospital ratings and ensure you choose a doctor affiliated with a highly-rated hospital.

Researching Doctors

After narrowing down your list, you can use various websites to research and evaluate doctors:

  1. DocInfo.org: Provided by the Federation of State Medical Boards, this tool lets you check a doctor’s board certifications, education, licenses, and any disciplinary actions.
  2. CMS Data: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services offers tools to see how often doctors perform certain procedures and their charges. The “Medicare Physician & Other Practitioner Look-up Tool” is particularly useful.
  3. OpenPaymentsData.CMS.gov: This site shows the financial relationships doctors have with drug and medical device companies, providing transparency about potential conflicts of interest.
  4. Healthgrades.com: Offers detailed information on doctors, including education, training, hospital affiliations, board certifications, awards, professional misconduct, and patient reviews.
  5. Vitals.com: Similar to Healthgrades, Vitals provides information on doctors’ education, board certifications, hospital affiliations, and patient reviews.

Both Healthgrades and Vitals use a 5-star rating system where patients rate doctors on communication skills, wait times, office friendliness, and other factors. While these ratings can be helpful, be aware that they might not always be entirely accurate or reliable.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right doctor is crucial for your health and well-being. By using these tips and tools, you can make an informed decision and choose a doctor who meets your needs and preferences. If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional or insurance advisor for help.

 

Photo by Kampus Production

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Picture of Sarah Fuhrmann

Sarah Fuhrmann

Sarah Fuhrmann has been helping Medicare eligibles in Texas with their Medicare Insurance since 2018.