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
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.