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3 Things You Should Know About Looking For a Doctor Online

Questions to ask a neurologist

Thanks to the Internet, finding a doctor has never been so easy. All you have to do is just search Google, find the closest ones, read some reviews, and there you go, right?

Actually, no. Whether you’re finding a physician, or finding a medical specialist, you need to dig a little bit deeper when searching the Internet. Here are a few tips to help you find a doctor online.

Positive Online Reviews Do Not Mean High Quality of Care. – One thing you need to realize about online reviews is that they may be positive, but that doesn’t mean the doctor provides a high quality of care. Studies have actually found weak correlation between health ratings, and other measures of how successfully a provider treats patients. In other words, take those online reviews with a grain of salt when you try to find a doctor.

Get the Lowdown on Hospitals. – When finding a hospital, you need to get a full lowdown, since there’s much more info available on the quality and safety of hospitals. Go to Medicare.gov to check out how readmission, complications, and death rates at a hospital in question compare to national averages. You can also find data on patient satisfaction there, too. For state specific data, go to InformedPatientInstitute.org, and for safety ratings, check out LeapfrogGroup.org.

Use Your Insurance Provider’s Site For Cost Info. To find out cost info when trying to find a doctor, just go to your insurance provider’s website. Most providers include tools that allow patients to estimate their out-of-pocket costs when dealing with doctors or hospitals.

The Internet may have made it easy to find a doctor, but you need to do a bit more digging when trying to find a new physician. So long as you don’t take online reviews as gospel, get the lowdown on hospitals, and use your health insurance network’s website to get more info, you’ll be fine.

If you have any questions, feel free to share in the comments.

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