5 Tips for Choosing a New Primary Care Physician

It can be difficult to choose a new primary care physician. Your primary care physician is not just another doctor, but someone you work with to achieve your health goals and overcome challenges. The Blue Cross Blue Protect Affiliation offers some helpful suggestions.

You can choose a primary care physician if you are new to Blue Cross Blue Protect North Carolina, have recently moved, or simply want a change.

Your primary care physician is also your “residence” in terms of medical needs. This includes wellness checks and routine screenings as well as non-emergency illnesses like earaches or sore throats. It’s also the person to whom you speak about all your health questions and concerns. If you have an HMO plan, your primary care physician may refer you to a specialist.

Depending on whether you are changing insurance or transferring, some patient-primary-care relationships may last for many years. It is important to have a good relationship with your primary care physician. Choose someone you feel comfortable talking to, who has experience in the areas where your health needs are, and is “in network” with your medical insurance plan.

Here are five suggestions to help you choose a new primary care physician:

1. Choose which documents are “in-community”

You’ll be able to pay less for your visits with doctors and hospitals who are “in-network”. You can avoid a surprise “out-of network” charge or paying out-of-pocket because the doctor you chose doesn’t accept your insurance plan by choosing an “in-network physician”.

Search our Discover A Doctor software or call the 1-800 number on the back of your ID card to find a list of doctors and hospitals “in network”.

2. Find a Doctor with the Experience to Meet Your Health Needs

Once you have a list of doctors in your network, you can start to narrow it down. As a primary care physician, you can choose from a variety of different types of doctors. These include those who specialize in Family Practice, Internal Medicine or General Observation. There are also pediatricians who specialize in children and will be the primary care physician for your child.

Family Observe– Physicians who practice household follow can treat patients of any age, from infants to seniors. Generalists, they can treat all types of conditions and can often even handle illnesses that you would normally see a specialist to deal with, such as sports injuries or women’s health needs.

Internal Medicine – Inner medicine physicians are usually adults who specialize in the treatment of illnesses and other serious conditions.

Common Observe– Common Observe doctors are similar to family practice physicians, and can treat patients of any age or gender. You can also find osteopaths in this category. These are doctors who practice a type of alternative medicine with a particular focus on the musculoskeletal systems. They are distinguished by “D.O.” instead of “M.D.”

3. Referrals are available upon request

Most people feel more comfortable visiting a doctor that they trust, such as a family member, friend, or coworker. You can ask around and find out what doctor your friends and family use. Ask a healthcare professional with whom you have a relationship. This could be a doctor who specializes in women’s health, a pharmacist or even your dentist. If you are moving, ask your current doctor if they have any advice for your new area.

4. Think About Logistics

Do you want a doctor situated near your home or office? You can use our Find A Doctor Tool to find doctors with offices that are close to you. Also, you’ll want to consider the doctor’s office hours. What days and times does the doctor see patients? You’ll also want to consider the doctor’s office hours – what days and times does he see patients? You should also check which hospital the doctor admits patients to.

Another important thing to consider is the language. If you want to be able to communicate with your doctor clearly, make sure to check which languages they speak. Most doctors now communicate with their patients via e-mail or internet portals. This is another factor that tech-savvy communicators should consider when choosing a doctor.

5. Visit the physician

A face-to-face meeting and an office visit can give you the best idea of whether you have chosen the right doctor. Make sure you feel comfortable in the office and with the doctors and nurses.

You should be able to trust and rely on your primary care physician to help you manage your health. Talk to your doctor about the medicines you are taking and any medical history you have to ensure you’re both on the same page when it comes to managing any serious conditions.

Consider the environment when you are at work. Are the people who answer the phone and welcome you when you walk in friendly and helpful? The telephones are answered promptly? When should you schedule your appointment? How long will you wait to see your physician once you get to the appointment?

Most Blue Cross NC plans allow you to change your primary care physician at any time during the plan year.