The first thing that many people might look for in a healthcare provider, is whether or not they accept your insurance or if they are in your provider network. With a Zion HealthShare membership, you are not bound by the same network parameters that health insurance customers are. In fact, one of our core principles is that members should have freedom when choosing a healthcare provider.
So, if you can choose a provider without having to consider insurance and network restrictions, how do you choose? What do you look for first? While there are many things you may want to consider, we’ve come up with a few things you should think about when choosing your healthcare providers, easy as ABC.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you want to look for a provider that can actually see you and spend time with you. Even if a provider claims that they’re accepting new patients, their patient roster may already be more than they can handle in a timely manner. A provider with an overflow of patients will have less time to spend with each one of them—which means less time with you too.
A few simple questions may help you determine if the provider you are looking at has time for you. For example, just asking when the next available appointment may tell you everything you need to know. If your first appointment is going to be a month out, you may want to consider someone else. Bottom line, you want a provider to be available when you need them.
Availability is also one great perk of looking into direct primary care doctors! They make it their priority to see their patients personally and spend time to get to know about their health. If you need a new doctor, searching for a DPC practice near you may be just what you’re looking for.
After determining if a provider has time to care for you, the next consideration will be whether you can afford the care they offer. Again, this seems obvious, but sometimes our eyes can be a bit bigger than our wallets. You need to pick a provider that you can afford. And this often means finding a provider that has fair and reasonable prices. Not only will finding someone you can afford help your own budget, but also every time you seek a cost-effective provider, particularly when the services are a shareable expense, you help keep membership costs down for the whole Zion HealthShare community.
If you have questions about how much a specific service should cost, you can always contact the Zion Health Medical Advocacy team, a complementary service we offer to help our members find providers and facilities with the best rates. We will help you locate providers in your area who are known to offer fair rates and offer superior quality!
Communication & Care
This third consideration is vastly underrated when looking for a provider. Oftentimes we realize too late how important good communication is to the relationship we have with our healthcare providers. Don’t assume that every provider will hold themselves to the same communication standard. You may get some clues about a provider’s communication style from your initial interactions with their website, their staff, or the provider themselves. A great way to investigate whether a provider is a good communicator is by looking at their reviews. People who receive great care from a good communicator are often moved to express their gratitude with positive reviews.
You are entitled to know what is going on with your healthcare, and you are the number one resource for information about what is going on with your health, so communication is key. A provider who communicates well will be honest, knowledgeable, and conversational. Your provider should be ready to admit if they are unsure about something and prepare you well for what to expect with a course of treatment—both the good and the bad. More than all that, your provider should be a good listener. Good healthcare starts with good listeners. A provider who doesn’t listen well doesn’t get all the details required to treat you properly. Ultimately, you want a provider who cares enough to get it right.
After these three considerations, only you know what is right for you. For example, if you are an extra busy person, proximity may be a critical consideration. Or, if you have a rare or special case, you may need to search for the best provider in that field or the provider who has the most experience with your particular symptoms. Bottom line: make sure you take the time to do your homework. A great provider is worth the effort.
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