Moving is stressful, in part because you’ll be starting over. You’ll need to find new places to hang out, new grocery stores for your weekly shopping, and even more importantly, new healthcare providers for you and your family. Finding healthcare providers can be especially difficult, since you’ll need to consider so many different factors.
This guide can help you make the right decisions.
1. Starting with the Basics
First, you’ll want to make a list of all the types of healthcare providers you’ll want for you and your family. For starters, you’ll definitely want a primary care physician. You’ll also want to find a dentist to provide you with regular cleanings and checkups, and an optometrist for annual or biannual checkups.
Depending on your needs, you may also want to find a specialist, like a podiatrist or a physical therapist. Identify your needs and keep it simple for the time being; once you find primary care givers you can trust, you can get recommendations for other needs as they arise.
2. Generating a List
Next, you’ll want to start generating lists of care providers in your area. For example, you might want a list of all the Fort Worth dental options near your home, or all the New Orleans primary care physicians in a 30-mile radius. There are many different tools you can use for this, including a healthcare provider directory. Ideally, you’ll generate a list with plenty of information on each option, including reviews, types of services provided, and proximity to your home.
3. Write a List of Priorities
There are several factors you’ll need to consider when looking for new healthcare providers, but you may not be able to find an option with everything. Accordingly, you’ll need to know which priorities are the most important for you and your family.
These are some of the most common priorities:
· Insurance acceptance
Most people are rightly concerned with whether the healthcare provider is in their insurance network. If you have health insurance, you’ll obviously want to choose a provider who allows you to utilize it. Some insurance plans are practically universal, accepted by almost all providers in a given area. Others may make it harder to find a provider in your network. You may be able to find this information through your health insurance provider’s website; if not, a quick call to the practitioner’s office should clear things up.
· Physical location
You may also want to find someone with a close physical location. If you or your family is suffering from a health-related problem, you won’t want to drive an hour away to the nearest provider. This is usually a secondary priority, but it’s worth considering; how quickly can you get to this person?
· Facility features
To a lesser extent, you might be curious about the features of the healthcare provider’s facility. For example, is your primary care physician a small-time operation, working out of a small building? Or is this a major industrial facility with top-of-the-line equipment? Neither one of these is objectively superior to the other, but one may align with your goals more closely than the other.
Obviously, you’ll also want to consider the qualifications of the healthcare provider you’re considering. Where did this person get their degree, and how were they certified to do their job? How long have they been in the business? Generally, more experience can give you more confidence, but younger providers are often better educated on the latest developments in the field.
· Online reviews
To an extent, you’ll want to pay attention to the online reviews a healthcare provider has received. These can often be an indication of this person’s strengths and weaknesses. You can probably ignore the absolute best and absolute worst reviews, so look to what the “average” crowd is saying.
· Overall demeanor
Finally, try to meet your prospective healthcare provider in person. Regardless of qualifications, insurance acceptance, and physical proximity, you’ll still want to find someone you genuinely get along with. Does this person seem attentive, and do they listen to your questions and concerns?
4. Get Recommendations
You may also want to get personal recommendations from people who have lived in this area for a long time. As you meet your neighbors, new coworkers, and other contacts, you can ask them who they’ve trusted in the past—and what kind of experiences they’ve had. Oftentimes, personal recommendations can be more valuable than an aggregate of online reviews.
It may take some time to find the right healthcare providers for you and your family, but it should be fairly high on your priorities list. With a good team of primary care providers, you and your family can remain in good health in your new location.
Article Submitted By Community Writer