Selecting a primary care doctor is an important decision. If you know you’ll be on Medicare soon, or plan to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, it’s a good idea to choose a primary care doctor before you choose your plan. Here’s why.
Choose Your Doctor, Then Your Medicare Plan
If you want to remain healthy, having a primary care physician who you trust and see regularly is a key component. Primary care physicians monitor your ongoing health, address day-to-day issues as they arise and schedule routine screenings. Having a primary care physician can benefit your health and even lower your medical costs via prevention.
If you are on Medicare, or are planning to be soon, you may ask: How do you choose a primary care doctor? How do you find a doctor that accepts Medicare? Is Medicare accepted everywhere?
Most doctors do accept Medicare. To find out if a primary care physician accepts Medicare patients, simply call the office and ask.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, this may be slightly different. With some Medicare Advantage Plans, you may need to choose an in-network doctor to get full coverage. In that case, you should consult your Medicare Advantage Plan to determine which doctors are covered. Medicare Advantage Plans can offer a list of the physicians in their network.
It’s a good idea to choose your doctor before you choose your Medicare plan. That way, you can select a plan that allows you to see your doctor of choice, rather than be forced to choose a Medicare doctor from the plan’s approved list.
So, how do you choose a primary care doctor?
How to Choose a Primary Care Doctor
When you need to select a medical doctor, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Do Your Research
With the Internet, you can find information regarding doctors, such as sites where you can view their credentials, even read patient reviews and learn more about their practice. You also can check to see if the doctor is board certified.
2) Ask for Referrals
Often your friends and neighbors are a good resource when choosing a physician. Word of mouth is still a reliable way to find a good ,Medicare doctor near you.
3) Check Them Out
If you are considering selecting a certain doctor, call their office to ask some questions. Are the office staff polite? Is the doctor easy to get in touch with? Are they accepting new patients? How soon can you get an appointment? What are the office hours? And, if it is of interest to you, do they offer telemedicine?
You can schedule an initial appointment to meet them in person. You want a physician/patient relationship in which you feel comfortable, so you can be open about your health concerns. You also can check out their office location, parking and other accessibility considerations.
4) Consider Location
When choosing a primary care physician, ideally choose one that you can access easily. If you need help with transportation, find out what the options are.
How NewPrimaryCare.com™ Can Help
If you’re looking for a new primary care doctor that accepts Medicare, NewPrimaryCare.com offers a curated list of value-based care providers. With value-based care, providers are rewarded for helping Medicare patients get healthier, not for the number of office visits or services provided.
In addition, doctors listed on NewPrimaryCare.com have shorter average wait times, and you can usually get a new patient appointment in days, not weeks or months.
To find a primary care physician near you that accepts Medicare, use our Find a Doctor tool.