Choosing a primary care doctor (also called a primary care provider or PCP) is the most important thing you can do to get the most out of your health plan. And for your health.
We all have different things that matter to us when choosing a doctor. But at the end, we want to feel confident in the doctor's abilities and trust the doctor to give us the type of care we want. Here are some questions you can ask and tools you can use to help you find a doctor who's right for you:
Step 1: Identify what traits are important to you
Male or female? Young or more mature? Near home or work? Speak a language other than English? Affiliated with which area hospitals? Recognized medical school? Location of residency training? Create a wish list of everything you want in your doctor.
Step 2: Speak with trusted friends and family
A good place to start is by asking friends and family members you trust for their recommendations. If you're managing a specific medical condition, ask about experience or interest in that condition.
Step 3: Use the internet
Most doctors are on the web in one way or another. Some maintain their own websites. You'll find others on the hospital or clinic website they are associated with. Some may be mentioned in local news media, or a published research paper. These sites will often include the doctor's medical interests, philosophy of care, and even hobbies and interests. Let your favorite search engine pull together what's out there on your candidates to help you. You can also use Yelp and doctor review sites-such as ZocDoc-to see what their patients have said.
Step 4: Use our “Find a Doctor” tool
Once you have decided what's important to you in a doctor, sign in at premera.com or on the Premera mobile app and use our Find a Doctor tool to search. You'll find a list of doctors who are in your Premera provider network. Then you can refine the list to find doctors that match the criteria that are important to you. Once you've seen your new doctor, we encourage you to come back and leave a review.
Step 5: Stay in network
When you're signed in to premera.com, all the doctors in the Find a Doctor tool are in your Premera plan's network. You'll pay less out of your own pocket if you use doctors in your plan's provider network.
Step 6: Interview your choices
If you still can't make up your mind, give your candidates a call. By interviewing them, you can dig deeper into the criteria that matter to you. And you can get a sense of their bedside manners and whether you can relate to them on a personal level.