Thursday, August 20, 2020

Marla Ahlgrim: Tips For Choosing A Primary Care Doctor

Marla Ahlgrimm
When you’re looking for a new doctor, the choices can be overwhelming. But they do not have to be. Keep reading as self-help author and healthcare professional Marla Ahlgrimm answers a few questions about how to choose a primary care physician for you.

Q: What’s the first step when looking for a new healthcare provider for me or my family?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Ask your friends and family. Talk to your neighbors. Ask your son’s teacher. Referrals are one of the best ways to get an idea of who to consider and also who to avoid. Keep in mind, however, that, because no two people are alike, it’s best to get opinions from several different individuals.

Q: Do all doctors accept all insurance plans?

Marla Ahlgrimm: No, and they do not have to. Most insurance plans run off what’s called a network. This is a stream of physicians that have chosen to offer services to the insurance provider’s clients. Once you decide on a healthcare provider, contact their billing office to determine if they accept your plan.
Q: Is it okay just to show up to check out a new doctor’s office?

Marla Ahlgrimm
Marla Ahlgrimm: Because of the sensitive nature of what doctors do, showing up without an appointment is usually frowned upon. But, that does not mean that you cannot get a good feel for the mood of the office. Don’t be afraid to give them a quick call. You can tell a lot from the tone of the person that answers the phone. Ask whether or not they’re accepting new patients and pay close attention to how they answer. If you’re not comfortable with the personality of the person on the other end, it’s likely you won’t feel cozy with the provider.

Q: How important is my religion when choosing a doctor?

Marla Ahlgrimm: This is something many people fail to consider. However, while all doctors are committed to your health and best interests, if you have unique circumstances, it’s wise to have a conversation with your physician about your personal beliefs and needs.