How To Ease The Transition To A New Doctor
- taken from US News
There are a number of reasons a person might switch doctors: a move may make it necessary; a change in insurance plans or carriers; the doctor may not be a good fit for the patient.
To make the transition as smooth as possible, you may want to keep these things in mind:
Don’t leave your medical history behind
Medical records need to be transferred. If you opt to tell your doctor you are leaving, then you can also ask that medical records be transferred to the new doctor to get the process started at your last visit. If you opt not to tell your doctor, you can call the doctor’s office and ask to have the records transferred. Due to HIPAA, you will need to sign paperwork to have your records released.
It’s important that all records are transferred to ensure the accuracy of the information from diagnosis to treatment to a patient’s medical history. Trying to relay medical history from memory can miss pertinent information.
Take your medications— to the new doctor
Having medications in one place can help give the new doctor a clearer picture of exactly what a patient is taking and the dosages. If you don’t want to physically take your medications with you, at least have a comprehensive list that includes prescription and over-the-counter medication.
Also make sure you have the prescriptions or refills you need before you leave a doctor to see a new one.
Be prepared to avoid common hassles
The last thing you want to do is decide on a new doctor—and then find out after an appointment the physician is out of your insurance network, and you can’t afford to keep seeing him. Unless you are planning to pay in cash, check your insurance network in advance and confirm with the doctor’s office. Bring your insurance card and a form of ID to your doctor’s office. You may even want to bring a list of all the doctors you see to help coordinate care.
Focus on establishing a relationship with your new doctor
A patient should put his energy into developing ties with the new doctor. Go ahead. Make an appointment. Start establishing the relationship. Don’t wait until there’s a medical emergency or you’re ill. It usually works better if you and the physician know each other.