Look Before You Leap: The Value of a New Patient Visit
If you’ve had poor experiences with health care in the past, you know the importance of finding a
doctor and practice that fits your needs.
Whether you are looking for a new family physician or are in need of specialized care, choosing a practice can be challenging. Sure, online reviews and recommendations from friends are helpful, but nothing quite compares to walking into a doctor’s office, feeling out the atmosphere, and conversing with the medical team. A new patient visit provides you the opportunity to do just that. Before committing to a relationship with a new provider, you should always be welcomed to see the facility and ask questions, and equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision about your care.
Here are a few ways you can prepare for your new patient visit.
Gather your documents.
It’s important to make sure the practice you’re interested in accepts your insurance. Before scheduling a new patient visit, verify this information with either the doctor’s office or insurance provider, and be sure to bring your card to the new patient visit.
You will also want to get a copy of your medical history from any former providers. This can be faxed in or hand delivered. Finally, complete the new patient paperwork that is required, and make a list of all medications you are currently taking.
Compile a list of questions.
Having a list of questions on hand will help you stay focused and make the most of your time. These could be questions pertaining to your unique health concerns, or questions about how the office handles things like communication, referrals, and billing. A few good ones to add to your list include:
- How far in advance do I need to schedule appointments?
- Can you accommodate same-day visits for urgent care needs?
- Is my doctor available via phone or email should I have a question?
- Can you refer me to a specialist if needed?
- What payments are required at time of service?
Think through your health goals.
Some patients are battling chronic illness; others simply want to shed a few pounds. Depending on your age, lifestyle, current health needs, and family history, you likely have your own set of concerns about achieving wellness in the future.
Communicate these to your new doctor so he or she can develop a full understanding of your needs. A health care provider should be an active partner in helping you set measurable goals to strive toward. What do you want to achieve?
Get more out of your health care.
LeBauer has offices in Burlington, North Carolina, and several other locations. We believe every member of the Triad community should have access to high-quality care and a doctor they can trust. Take the first step toward building a lasting relationship with a new provider today.