When illness or injury strike, finding the care you need is important, but it may not always be straightforward. Depending on your insurance provider, the source of your injury, and your location, your options for finding a qualified medical professional– be they an asthma doctor in Washington DC or an orthopedic surgeon in Newark, DC– may be quite limited. We hope, however, that by asking the questions below, you will be able to simplify the process and find the quality healthcare you deserve:
How were you injured? If you sustained an at-work injury or illness, your workers’ compensation should provide you with a network of medical professionals and specialists who can treat your injury. For instance, if you developed asthma at your workplace in Manassas, VA, your insurance provider should be able to connect you with a Manassas, VA asthma doctor at no cost to you. However, if your injuries did not occur in the workplace or while you were working, you are not entitled to workers’ compensation. This, of course, has its drawbacks from a cost perspective, but leaves you a wider, better selection of doctors who can tend to your specific needs. If your injury was the result of domestic violence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim, and your assailant may have to pay your medical bills. This leads us to our next question–
How will you cover costs? This is a matter of your financial resources, whether you have successfully filed an insurance claim, and whether you have adequate insurance. Your healthcare plan, if you have a good one, may cover a large portion of your expenses but, more than likely, you will have to come out of pocket on some expenses. The regulations vary with different plans and from state to state. If you cannot cover the costs, and your injuries were caused by another party’s willful or negligent acts, you may be able to get compensation for your medical expenses. Speak to a personal injury lawyer about obtaining compensation for your medical expenses.
Does your doctor come recommended? When referred to any doctor, be it through workers’ comp or some other channel, be sure to do your research. Asking former patients is a helpful way to know if your health will be in the hands of a capable provider. Of course, doctors and patients have confidentiality agreements, which will prevent you from knowing who is a former patient, but if you have any friends or family who have seen this doctor, you can ask them. Alternately, you can look for online reviews. Be wary of sites like Yelp, which tend to give a skewed picture, instead focusing on more trusted medical review sites such as Zocdocs, Healthgrades, RateMDs and Vitals.com. Many healthcare professionals such as this allergist in Washington DC, have honest reviews posted to these respected sites. Often, they can post client reviews to their own sites as on http://www.bkallergy.com/testimonials/. Be mindful, however, that doctors have more control of the reviews that go on these sites and will likely only post the best ones.
You may be in a hurry to find a medical professional and certainly advocate getting the best care possible as quickly as possible. However, a little research can go a very long way, and it doesn’t hurt to ask yourself the above questions in your search for quality medical help.