How to Find the Right Healthcare Provider

A three-step plan to finding the practitioner you need.

doctor sitting with patient at desk

Medically reviewed in November 2020

Updated on April 13, 2022

One of the most important decisions you will ever make—and you'll probably make it more than once—is choosing the right healthcare provider (HCP).

Here's a three-step approach to choosing wisely.

Take a survey
Ask your friends, coworkers, and neighbors who they like. Once you have a list of names, check for them in the packet of options you get from your insurance provider, visit your provider's website, or call your provider directly to make sure your chosen HCP is within  network.

Take it online
Make sure your HCP of choice is included in at least a couple of databases from reputable medical association websites. Good places to start looking include the American Medical Association, the American Board of Medical Specialties, the National Committee for Quality Assurance Physician Recognition Program, and the American College of Surgeons.

Get on the horn
When you find an HCP you like, call the office and ask key questions. At the very least, you want to find out that the provider went to an accredited medical school and residency program and that the provider:

  • Sees plenty of patients
  • Has hospital privileges at a Joint Commission-accredited hospital
  • Has been board certified for at least 3 years
  • Practices with other providers who have equally strong credentials and training

And if your top choice doesn't happen to accept your insurance? Don't throw in the towel just yet. Call your insurer to see if this HCP could be added to the provider list.

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