January 11, 2018
Choosing a doctor is very important. Once you have chosen a health plan, you will need to pick a doctor for you and your family. Here are seven things you need to think about when picking a doctor for your family:
- Is the doctor convenient to where you live or work? It’s important to have a doctor that is near you. This makes it easier for you and your family to get care.
- What services does the doctor provide? You should think about what your family’s needs are. Perhaps you need a doctor that treats all ages, from newborns to seniors – that means you may need a family care doctor or a general practice doctor. If you have a chronic condition, you may want to choose an internal medicine doctor.
- Who would your family and friends recommend? It can be helpful to know which doctor your friends and family see, and if they feel they get good care from that doctor. Other healthcare professionals you might see, like your dentist or pharmacist, may also be able to recommend a doctor.
- Does the doctor offer after hours and/or weekend appointments? Knowing if the doctor is available outside of regular business hours can help you make a good decision about whether that doctor is right for you.
- Does the doctor speak other languages? If someone in your family speaks a language other than English, you might prefer to choose a doctor who can speak that language.
- Does the doctor offer tools like patient portals or email options? Busy families sometimes prefer to send their doctor a message by email or through a patient portal. If this is something that is important to you, you should choose a doctor who offers these conveniences.
- Have you visited the doctor’s office? Visiting the doctor’s office and asking questions can help you to decide if the doctor is right for your family. It will help you decide if the doctor’s staff is friendly and helpful. Be sure to ask questions like, “How long is the average wait time?”
Louisiana Healthcare Connections has a statewide network of more than 15,000 doctors, specialists and other healthcare professionals. You can check out our network by using our free online Provider Locator Tool.