A couple years ago a study asked 200 patients who were treated by the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Minnesota in 2001 to 2002 what qualities they looked for in their doctor. What they found were that patients wanted their doctors to be confident, empathetic, humane, personal, forthright, respectful and thorough.
Overall, what patients were looking for was someone who made them feel confident in their diagnoses and care as well as someone who was understanding, caring, compassionate, connected, conscientious and willing to spend time with them. These qualities weren’t rated by level of importance. They were just the characteristics that patients most frequently cited.
Finding the Right Medicare Doctor for You
“Finding the right Medicare provider or best Medicare supplement insurance plan for you is vital to your well being,” suggests Alan Weinstock, an insurance broker at www.MedicareSupplementPlans.com. “Whether you’ve just joined Medicare or have been using it for years, it’s nice to know there are tools to ensure you get the service you need.”
First, start by finding a medical group and doctor that you think might be right for you. You can ask friends and family members for a referral or if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, check out the website of your insurance carrier for a list of doctors in your area. There are also tools you can use, such as the Healthcare Provider Directory available at Medicare.gov to find a Medicare doctor.
If you don’t have Medicare Advantage and want to find a great Medicare supplement insurance plan, visit www.MedicareSupplementPlans.com where you can compare rates, plans and benefits from several prominent insurance companies to find the plan and Medicare doctor that best fit your needs .
Once you have the name and address of the doctor you plan to visit, check with your State Board of Medical Examiners. It’s easy to do it online by entering your state name and Board of Medical Examiners in the search engine. The State Board allows you to look at a current or a potential doctor’s profile. You’ll be able to check to see things such as if the doctor has been disciplined or formally accused of wrongdoing, convicted of a felony, had privileges revoked or if there are any pending actions or lawsuits against him or her.
Finally, one of the best ways to determine if a doctor is right for you is to visit him or her for a check up. See how the doctor handles himself and interacts with you. Ask questions about your health and get a sense of her patient skills. You need to know if this doctor will be someone with whom you will be comfortable discussing all your medical needs.
Patients have even been known to speak with the nursing staff first to find out how they feel about the physician they work with. Ask them how long they have been working with him or her. A lot of turnover could signal a problem.
The point is that whether you are a Medicare beneficiary or not, finding a great doctor is important. It’s just a matter of taking the time to ask questions.
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