The doctor-patient relationship is paramount since healthcare outcomes are often partially determined by the patient’s faith in their doctor and resulting compliance with their recommendations. So how and why would you change your primary doctor?
At my MD Select, we offer direct access to local physicians at strategically placed clinics throughout East Texas. In this article, we’ll look at how you can go about finding a primary care physician that looks after your best interests.
The Importance of Having a Trusted Primary Care Physician
In a perfect world, the relationship is one where confidentiality is maintained, and the patient’s rights and autonomy are respected. Ideally, the physician provides the highest standards of care, and the patient trusts them implicitly. Treatment is explained clearly so the patient can give informed consent, and their concerns are addressed promptly.
Assessing Your Current Primary Care Physician
Unfortunately, this world is not perfect, and sometimes, patients may find themselves on the back foot, unhappy with inadequate communication, a refusal to hear the patient out, poor services rendered, problems with prescription refills, or unrelated issues such as inefficiency or double-bookings on the part of receptionists, which lead to scheduling mix-ups or long wait times. As a result, dissatisfied patients are left asking themselves, “Can I change my primary care physician?”
Other issues might include the insurance company no longer partnering with the physician, the doctor retiring, or one or other of the parties concerned moving out of the area, in which case, it is essential to find a new primary care provider. This article provides you with a blueprint for making the change to a new doctor.
Finding a New Primary Care Physician
So how do you go about changing your primary care physician? Of course, explaining why you have chosen to make the switch is unnecessary. Still, it is advisable to check that whomever you are thinking of changing to is board-certified and affiliated with your preferred hospital(s) since you do not want to be left high and dry without a doctor if needed. How do you change primary care doctors if you don’t know any local doctors? Ask around and get recommendations from other patients.
Hospitals should have a register of affiliated providers, or you can check on the American Medical Association’s DoctorFinder. Cross-reference the likely candidates with healthcare providers linked to your health insurance. If you have a specific medical issue, such as diabetes, perhaps look to the local chapter of medical organizations that deal with the disease, like the American Diabetes Association, which can probably provide you with a likely contender.
If you look at physician rating websites like HealthGrades, remember that one disgruntled patient is not necessarily the best reference. Instead, check for a theme where the same issue crops up several times before writing off the practice based on one patient’s bad day.
How to Choose Potential Primary Care Physicians
Priorities you should query include the handling of after-hours issues, appointment scheduling protocols, and the likelihood of the doctor phoning or emailing you back timeously if you have an urgent query. Find out if they can deal with any unusual health issues you may have. If they seem like a good bet, check that their practice accepts your insurance plan and that the doctor can take on new patients.
When making the switch, you may wish to visit your original doctor to say farewell if the doctor-patient relationship is healthy or perhaps to find out who they recommend for you. Take the opportunity to ensure you get an overview of your current health and medications and request a copy of your records.
The records must be forwarded in four business days if the doctor operates under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Care Record Incentive Program. Otherwise, they should be sent within 30 days. An extension of 30 days can be requested.
Making the Transition & Building a Relationship with Your New Primary Care Physician
If you cannot obtain your medical records for some reason, the new primary healthcare provider should be able to ascertain a fair amount of information from the medications you are on and will probably test for problems like cholesterol and blood pressure. But it is important that you mention any allergies and surgeries you may have had and that you know and can relay your family’s health history.
These issues will probably be discussed during your first visit, when you should also feel comfortable enough to ask questions of the physician.
After the visit, you should ask yourself the following:
- Were the doctor’s answers to my questions clear, and did they check that I understood what was said?
- Did the doctor listen to my queries, and did they respect my concerns?
- Was I comfortable with them, and did I like their manner?
- Did they make an effort to put me at ease?
- Did the doctor do anything that made me question whether they were suitable for the job or made me feel uneasy?
Since it is your health that hangs in the balance, making the change to a new doctor should not leave you with the same issues experienced with the previous caregiver or create new problems, so if something is not right, try someone else.
Why You Should try MyMDSelect
The Direct Primary Care Model, followed by MyMD Select, has proven to be a less costly alternative to the traditional fee-for-service payment system with the added bonus that it yields improved health benefits for patients.
At MyMD Select, patients come first 24/7. Their primary medical care physicians take the time to listen and understand their patients. MyMD Select offers a full slate of healthcare services, and the medical team aims to get to know patients during unhurried visits. We are committed to treating the root cause of symptoms and finding lasting solutions, so you don’t have to waste money and time traipsing back and forth to doctors with unresolved health problems. An initial lab testing is carried out when you schedule your first direct primary care visit with your doctor at your home clinic in East Texas.
MyMD Select doctors ask all the important questions, and based on your answers and in consultation with you, they create a healthcare plan that keeps the patient top-of-mind and doesn’t just treat the symptoms – it’s the sort of doctor-patient relationship most of us dream of having. And in these times of high costs and little bang for your buck, it is refreshing to note that membership pricing is affordable and transparent, so you can choose a plan that best serves you and your family, whether you have quality insurance or not.
Healthcare Subscription Service Available in Nacogdoches, Longview, Lufkin, and Jacksonville Texas
MyMD Select’s services are focused on holistically caring for patients, considering the patient’s needs, and providing comprehensive health care for all ages.
Learn more about MyMD Select’s subscription services and contact any of our offices or fill in the form online today.