Choosing A Family Doctor

Choosing A Family Doctor Considerations

What Should You Consider When Choosing Your Family Doctor

What are the Benefits of having a Family Doctor?

Numerous!

  • Your family doctor will have the best TOTAL relationship with you and your family, plus take care of ALL of you, not just selected parts of you. Your family doctor can answer your questions in a way that you trust.
  • Family doctors keep track of family histories or genetic factors. This is useful for the early treatment and prevention of heart disease, cancers and other conditions.
  • Family physicians conduct approximately 22% of ALL doctor office visits, that’s 192 million visits annually, 48% more than to the next most visited specialty (Internal Medicine).
  • Family physicians deliver a range of acute, chronic, and preventive medical care services while providing patients with a patient-centered medical home.
  • From heart disease, women’s health , dermatology and mental health, to diabetes, cancer, and asthma, family physicians provide ongoing, personal care for the nation’s most serious health problems.
  • They provide preventive care, including routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunization and screening tests, and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Family physicians also manage most chronic illnesses, and when needed will coordinate care provided by sub-specialists.

 


Family Medicine and The Family Doctor

Family medicine is the most versatile of all physician specialties, providing comprehensive medical care to patients of all genders and all ages, and family physicians are just as diverse as their patients. 

Today, Family Doctors provide the majority of care for America’s under served rural and urban populations., which would otherwise lack access to primary care.

Family Doctors deliver care in a variety of settings, including:

  • Office practices
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Community health centers
  • Urgent care centers
  • Emergency rooms
  • University-based health centers

 

Of the nearly 885 million visits that Americans made to office-based physicians in 2014, 52% were to primary care physicians.

In 2010, there were approximately 209,000 practicing primary care physicians in the U.S., according to research commissioned by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Of the 624,434 physicians in the United States who spend most of their time in direct patient care, less than one-third are specialists in primary care.

As per Statista report, in 2012, a total of 78% of the respondents had a family physician or primary care doctor.


The Cost: What About the Rising Cost of Medical Services.

  • Hospitals are buying doctor offices & increasing the fees.
  • Unnecessary medical procedures cost around $ 2 billion annually.
  • Big Box Medical Clinics (hospital owned with hospital signage) WILL charge facility fees which cost patients extra on top of other charges – up to 30% additional costs for the SAME service from an independently owned clinic.
  • Co-pays from unnecessary referrals and extra doctor visits cost patients out of pocket.

Look for a doctor who will help you save on medical costs and unnecessary referrals, rather than looking for ways to rack up your bill.


Ratings: How Would You Rate Your Current Doctor?

The 10 Most Commonly Visited Physician-Rating Sites

HealthGrades.com, Vitals.com, Yelp.com, YP.com, RevolutionHealth.com, RateMD.com, Angieslist.com, Checkbook.org, Kudzu.com, and ZocDoc.com.

Analysis of 4999 Online Physician Ratings by Google Trends

  • The average rating was 77 for sites using a 100-point scale
  • For sites using a 5-point scale the average rating was 84
  • For sites using a 4-point scale the average was 1

The percentage of reviews with a rating of 4 or higher on sites with a 5-point scale was only 74% – Does your doctor have above average review ratings?

How much do reviews really matter? 

47% of consumers say a doctor’s reputation matters.

60% of consumers need to read four or more reviews before forming an opinion.

80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

31% of consumers only trust reviews that seem authentic.


The Service: What Services Does Your Physician Offer?

Not all Physicians offer everything

Percent of family physicians offering various services

  • Pediatrics – 4%
  • Adolescent – 4%
  • New Born Care – 4%
  • Gynecology – 3%
  • Orthopedics – 6%
  • Office Surgery – 9%
  • Prenatal Care – 5%
  • Chronic Care – 81%
  • Occupational medicine – 30%
  • Skin care – 70%
  • Vasectomy – 30%

What’s the benefit of visiting an independently owned clinic?

In a nutshell:

  • Save you money by avoiding unnecessary “facility fees” big hospitals charge when you visit clinics that they own
  • Provide referrals to the best specialists and collaborate with them in your care, not just the ones who also work for the same hospital system that is aligned with the hospital owned clinic
  • Provide preventive and routine health screenings
  • Provide long-term management of chronic conditions
  • Coordinate the care given to you by hospitals, rehabilitation clinics and long-term care

Facilities

  • Act as a comprehensive repository for your medical records
  • Aid in helping you determine healthy lifestyle choices
  • Less information is dropped or duplicated when less physicians are involved
  • Independent clinics have more flexibility with they way they care for you (such as how    much time they spend with you)
  • Fewer co-pays, better coordinated overall care

Not being the typical big-box clinic, independent primary care clinics have the ability and flexibility to provide the exact amount of care, time and the comprehensiveness that each patient needs.

SAVING YOUR MONEY

Hospital owned clinics put on a facility fee an additional 30% cost charges; independent primary care homes don’t charge that bill.

PROMPT SERVICE

In big hospitals, miscommunication is a common thing since multiple physicians are involved. But in independent family care clinic, a dedicated doctor will attend you preventing any blunder.

APPOINTMENTS

With longer appointment lengths at longer intervals, 60 mins (New patients) and 30 mins (Established patients) patients can have fewer visits, fewer co-pays and better-coordinated care overall.

RIGHT AMOUNT OF CARE THE RIGHT WAY

Longer time with doctors means patient get the right amount of diagnosis and care. Issues can be handled easily via email or phone, unlike big hospitals. Independent clinics do not have big billboards and giant referral centers to direct patients their way; they live and die by good reputation, hard work, “patient ownership”, work of mouth from satisfied families and outhustling the Big Box alternatives.


Finding an independent clinic is getting harder

Independent physicians are on the decline

In 2001: 55% were independent

2004: 50%…

2007: 46%…

2010: 42%

2013: 36%…

  • Currently, Only 33% of US physicians are independent due to the push by hospital systems to buy out and eliminate competition.
  • 35% of male physicians are in private practice, compared to 59% who are employed.
  • While 72% of female physicians are employed, 23% are in private practice.
  • 63% of self-employed physicians reported being happy, compared to only 55% of employed physicians.
  • Of self-employed physicians, 73% report satisfaction with their careers.

Does your doctor seem like they enjoy what they do?

 

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