January 13, 2006, Newsletter Issue #15: Quality Counts

Tip of the Week

If you’re thinking about purchasing an HMO plan (a type of managed care), remember that you will have to select a primary care physician from a list of doctors who participate in your plan. This is the one physician you’ll typically see for all your health care. If you need to see a specialist, you’ll have to get a referral from your primary physician.

Before settling on a managed care plan, make sure you’re comfortable with your choice of primary physicians.

Take the time to call up your plan or the doctor’s office and ask if they can provide the details of their physicians’ experience.

Call both your state’s insurance and medical licensing departments to find out if a doctor has had any complaints made against them.

Find out if the doctors you are interested in are accepting new patients.

Make an appointment with the doctors highest on your list for an "interview" (ask if you’ll be charged for their time). You’ll get the chance to talk to the doctor one on one to see if they have a history of treating people with your needs.

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