Open enrollment season for health insurance is in full swing. According to John Saran, MD, FACP, a member of Edward Medical Group and MDVIP, here are five key questions to ask if you're picking a new doctor this fall:
|John Saran, MD
1. What are the physician's credentials? Education, fellowships, board certifications and special medical interests are important to consider. If there is a specific hospital you prefer, be sure your doctor has privileges to practice there.
2. Internal medicine or family physician? Internists have special training for adult conditions and are equipped to deal with healthcare needs from the teen years and older. Family physicians are trained to care for childhood and adult diseases. People over 65 may want a geriatric specialist or internist. Women may want to consider a doctor with medical interests in osteoporosis and breast health screening.
3. What are the office hours? Find out office hours, average wait time for appointments and the number of patients scheduled per hour. If you work full-time, you may need Saturday appointments or evening hours. Also find out the office's policies for prescription refills.
4. If my doctor is unavailable, can I talk to a nurse on the phone? This service is especially helpful in assessing your condition or finding some relief while you wait for an appointment. Follow-up phone care is another beneficial service provided by many physicians.
5. Does my insurance carrier have any network restrictions? Check with your insurance carrier to make sure the doctor is considered in-network. Be aware of your co-pays and deductibles.
Avoid picking a random name from a list. Take time to do research, seek recommendations and schedule a new patient physical to make sure you're comfortable with what you hope is your final choice.
Need a doc? Learn about the physicians of Edward Medical Group at edward.org/emg. You may also call our physician referral hotline at (630) 527-EMG1 (3641) to find an Edward Medical Group physician who's right for you and your family. Or submit a physician referral request online.