Is The Location Convenient?
The doctors office should be located in a place that is easy to get to and is convenient. Do you want a office that is closer to home or near your child’s daycare? If so, search for a doctor that is in the zip code closest to your home or daycare. Do they have more than one location? If so, ask if you can use the other location if needed.
Is the Doctor on the In-Network List for Your Insurance Plan?
Most families rely on insurance payments to help offset the cost of health care. It is important that your physician of choice is covered by your insurance company. If the doctor isn’t covered by your insurance company you can expect to pay higher out of pocket costs and you would most likely to use your out of network benefits. Using in network providers will lower your total out of pocket health care costs. Generally your insurance would cover the cost of your visits after you pay your co-payment or part of your deductible at each visit.
Find out what hospitals that your doctor is affiliated at, this is important to know if case your child ever has to be hospitalized or needs an outpatient procedure in the future. Also, your baby will also need to see a doctor when he or she is born, so you will need to ensure that the pediatrician will visit the hospital that you plan on giving birth to your baby at. Also, make sure that the doctor is affiliated with your hospital too to avoid expensive out of pocket costs. Once you find out what hospital the doctor is affiliated at, you will need to confirm that the hospital is an in-network provider for your insurance. Are you comfortable with the treating hospital that your doctor is in network at?
The internet makes it easy to check out the reputation of most health care providers. It is easy to search and find out what people are saying about them. Perform a Google search on the doctors name and this should find accurate reviews about the provider. Just remember that not everyone shares their experiences online, so it is possible that there aren’t very many reviews online. Ask your doctor’s office for references if you are still unsure about the providers reputation. Also, ask your friends or co-workers who they use.
After Hours Care?
Another important question that you should ask your doctors office, is how do they handle after hours care? Most doctors offices are only open during the week and it never fails that your child gets sick after the office is closed. Most doctors have an on call service so that you can page or speak to a nurse about urgent medical needs that may arise after hours. Ask and see if your provider has weekend emergency appointments, sometimes larger practices will have appointments for urgent issues. Having emergency appointments can help you save money on expensive co-pays for urgent care or emergency room visits.
Do They Agree with Your Choices?
Does your doctor or health care provider agree with your decision to breastfeed and other parenting choices? It is important to find a doctor that agrees with your decisions and beliefs as your doctor will be a useful resource as your baby grows. He or she will not only be able to give you medical advice but they often are useful for parenting advice as well, so it is important to find someone that your comfortable talking to.
How did you find your child’s pediatrician or doctor?