How Should You Find a Doctor When You Move?
Moving can be one of the most stressful situations you will encounter in your lifetime, right up there with the death of a loved one, a divorce, major illness, and job loss. No one will argue that it can be extremely disruptive, time consuming, and all-around difficult. Finding new medical care will just be one of many things on a typical task list. So how should you go about the process? Here are five things to consider.
1. Doctor type. A first step is defining the type of care you need for you and your family. Do you need a family practice doctor or a specialist? Perhaps you need several docs, such as an internist, pediatrician, OB/GYN, and oncologist. Come up with a list.
2. Convenience. Proximity to home, work, and school can be a major factor in doc selection. Can you get there easily? And if you can, can you be seen quickly? Extended operating hours and ease of scheduling are big ones when illness strikes.
3. Cost. Understanding possible treatment costs are another factor. Whether you are using insurance or paying cash, healthcare isn’t cheap. Check with your insurance plan to see whether your possible doctor is in network. Alternatively, how much would cash services be? Often that can be a better approach, especially for those with high deductible health plans.
4. Rating. Many internet sites such as Healthgrades or Yelp rate medical offices. Check out the aggregate ratings as well as specific anecdotes from your new neighbors.
5. New patients. A last consideration is finding out whether your doctor of choice is accepting new patients. Give the practice a call to see if they will take you and your family.
At the end of the day, doc selection is up to you. So check out the facilities and chat with the staff. Envision yourself in each practice and whether being there is a good or bad experience. Then go with your gut.