Do you have a doctor? Having one doctor who knows you and your medical history well can help you get better care at every visit – plus faster care when you’re sick or injured. Most people choose a general internist, a pediatrician, or a family practice physician as the primary doctor to help manage their preventive care and health needs. Some women may choose a gynecologist. Someone with a chronic health condition such as cancer or kidney disease may want to choose a specialist as their overall health care provider.
No matter which type of doctor you choose, it’s important to work as a partner with your doctor to make sure you get the right wellness visits and preventive health tests at the right time. Have a look at these simple questions that can help you work with your doctor to get the best care while saving yourself time and money.
Ask your doctor why they are sending you to this particular specialist.
It’s just human nature that physicians will tend to send you to someone they know, and not think about if that doctor is in your network. It could be that your doctor knows and trusts the specialist that they are sending you to, but it could also be because they work in the same clinic your doctor does and they would prefer to keep you in their system. If their answer doesn’t satisfy you, you can always choose your own specialist.
Ask your doctor why a test is needed - would the results change your treatment?
Some people feel that an extra test “couldn’t hurt” but that is not the necessarily the case and could actually create unnecessary cost. Make sure you receive care for your condition.
Ask for an independent second opinion before any extensive medical procedure.
A different doctor may have a different solution to your medical problem. Be sure and ask your first doctor for any test results, x-rays etc. so you don’t have to pay to retake them.
Ask if a prior authorization would be required before treatment.
Prior authorization helps you get the most for your health care dollar. Registered nurses work with physicians to check and monitor medical services to help assure that you receive the most appropriate and cost-effective care for your condition.
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