How to choose a doctor within the new Affordable Care Act

Don't just choose a doctor who's nearby. Credit: Metro File
Don’t just choose a doctor who’s nearby.
Credit: Metro file photo

Every week, Archelle Georgiou, MD, Strategic Advisor at Healthgrades, will explain one facet of the Affordable Care Act.

 

The Affordable Care Act mandates that the new Health Insurance Marketplace include information on each health plan’s in-network providers so that consumers can preview the doctors and hospitals they’ll have access to before selecting a plan.

However, the mere listing of nearby providers is not sufficient to make a smart choice about who will be best able to care for you and your family.

What information do you need to make a good decision? Use these five P’s as a guide to selecting the right health care providers for your needs:

Professional. Select only doctors who are board certified. All physicians have an MD, but board certification is the way to be sure a doctor has reached a certain competence level in his specialization.

Practice. Find doctors whose clinical focus within their specialties matches your needs. For example, a woman with hot flashes needs an OB/GYN whose specialty is treating menopause, rather than one who focuses on delivering babies.

Procedure. The number of procedures a doctor has done correlates with results. This is especially important if you need specialty care. Having your colonoscopy done by gastroenterologist who does 500 procedures per year is preferable to having it done by someone who does 50.

Performance. Review doctors’ malpractice history and look for any disciplinary actions from their state’s medical board.

Personal. Look at statistics on other patients’ experiences with how well the doctor communicates and the office staff’s interactions with patients.

You can easily get this information, for free, on several online ratings sites such as HealthGrades.com, which just released new research by Harris Interactive that found consumers who have selected a physician in the past three years are more concerned about convenient location and friendly office staff than success rates.

Don’t fall into the trap of selecting your doctors based on how close they are to your home or how easy it is to get an appointment. It’s not about convenience; it’s about your health.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.