One of the most important things to do before or after a move is finding new healthcare professionals. Depending on the scope of the move you’ll most likely need new doctors, vets, dentists, the works. It’s an important task to complete and with the chaos of moving it can be easily forgotten. In our Moving Checklist, we listed out to send your medical records out and notify your healthcare providers about the move. But how do you find a new provider in your area? Well here are a few tips to remember when looking for a healthcare provider in your new town.
After You Move: Selecting Healthcare Providers
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Notify Your Current Healthcare Providers
As we mentioned before its important to schedule a meeting with your current physicians and inform them of the move. Ask for a status on any recurring health conditions you have and for the transfer of your medical records once you identify a new healthcare provider in your area. It’s important to keep your current healthcare providers informed in order to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Ask Yourself What You Want
Ask yourself what you would like in a doctor. You may just want someone who will give a quick diagnosis with very little interaction, or one who is more personal. Maybe a doctor within private practice, or a large hospital network. Perhaps you only need a Primary Care Physician or a more specialized doctor. Keep these in mind when making your decision, don’t just go for “the best doctor”, choose the doctor that is best for you.
Look For Recommendations
Ask for recommendations from your healthcare provider about any doctors they recommend within the area while you’re at it. This is the best place to start your search as your current doctor not only knows you very well but understands your medical needs too. Their recommendation is definitely one to hold highly, but don’t stop with your physician; ask friends, family, and even co-workers for their recommendations too. Utilize tools like HealthGrades and DoctorFinder to get a list of healthcare providers and information about them to add to your list.
Make Sure They’re “In-Network”
Check to see which doctors from your list are “in-network” with your insurance provider. Healthcare providers that are in-network are those covered by your insurance. Most insurance providers will have a directory of all the doctors that are in-network, so just punch in the names of the healthcare providers on your list and see which ones apply. This doesn’t mean that you have to exclude out of network healthcare providers, but you may have issues with your insurance if you see them.
Perform Extra Research
Additional research about the doctors that are in-network will help give you insight into their skill level. You can find a lot of information about healthcare providers on their websites; information such as their educational background and skills, are important to bear in mind when making your choice.
Give the Doctor a Call
Call the offices of healthcare providers who have made it through your vetting process so far to get a feel of their communication style. A simple kickoff phone call is a great way to see if you gel well with them. During this phone call, you’ll also have the chance to get some questions answered that your research may not have been able to dig up; such as, how their practice is run or if they are even taking new patients.
Make Your Decision
Now it’s time to make your decision. Once you do, contact your old healthcare provider and have them send your medical records over to your new physician. Keep in mind according to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) a healthcare provider has a month to send over all medical information, so be sure to keep track of the progress. Once it’s arrived schedule your first appointment with your new healthcare provider, and scratch this post-move task off your list!
Finding a new healthcare professional is an important task to complete after your move and it’s not wise to procrastinate as medical emergencies can happen at any time. The last thing you want is to experience one and not have a trusted medical professional to guide you through it. Make sure you get this done so you don’t have to worry about it later!
This process can take a while and the chaos of the moving process can take a lot of time away from you. Billy Goat in Fort Collins can help you with your moving process and give you more time to find medical professionals in the area your moving to. Contact us today for a free quote!