5 Tips for Finding a Medicare Primary Care Physician
September 10, 2021 | Good Primary Care
Choosing a new Medicare primary care physician is a very important choice at any point in our lives, but especially as we get older.
Common questions that cross our minds when selecting a Primary Care Physician are:
- I’m not happy with my current doctor, but is it too much of a hassle to switch?
- Will I have to wait months to be seen?
- Do they have emergency appointments?
- Will they know my health history and have access to my records?
- Overall, will they know and care about me?
In reality, choosing a doctor can seem confusing and challenging but shouldn’t be. Between navigating the seemingly endless amount of healthcare information online to understanding the process of switching doctors or insurance plans, it can be incredibly daunting. We suggest five key tips that will help in choosing a doctor that’s right for you:
#1 Consider How Much Time You Need With Your Doctor
It’s important to look for a doctor that will spend an appropriate amount of time with you, answer all of your questions and not make you feel rushed through your visit with them. Why? Because you deserve to feel listened to and cared for by your physician.
#2 Primary Care Referrals and Patient Reviews
People often feel most comfortable visiting a doctor that is well recommended by someone they know. Family and friends are a valuable resource, knowing that the suggestion they give will have your best interest at heart. It’s also worth asking around your local community or senior center to see if there are any practices that people favor.
#3 Does the Primary Care Physician Meet Your Needs?
Good primary care looks at the whole person’s health. This means addressing all of your questions and concerns and looking beyond medication and constant referrals to specialists. We recommend searching for a doctor that will focus on your needs, and help you hone in on your goals, on both a physical and emotional level.
#4 Find a Good Local Doctor
Is the practice you’re considering near where you live? Convenience is important to most adults 65+; especially when you’re sick, need to be seen urgently, or don’t drive. Having a practice that’s in or close to your hometown is an important factor for your care.
Does the practice offer assistance if you need help getting there? At Iora, we provide transportation to patients that need help getting to appointments.
#5 Is the Practice Space Welcoming?
Most people don’t “buy” a product without either testing it out or seeing it beforehand. We recommend looking up the clinic you’re considering for any photos of the indoor and outdoor space. Does the space seem welcoming and inviting? Are the facilities friendly for older adults? Does it suit your needs? Do you feel comfortable there? These are all questions to consider on your tour. In our current climate, take a virtual tour of an Iora Primary Care practice or tune into a virtual open house to help get a feel for our care.
If you’ve considered all of the above, have done your research and identified what you need from a Medicare primary care physician, then make sure you get it. Everyone deserves great primary care, and it gets even more important as you get older. If something feels off, it usually is.