CHOOSING A FACILITY

Does a medical center, hospital, or a medical clinic provide better general health care? This could be a loaded question. Sometimes the difference is just marketing. Try not to place the name of a facility in a classification. I have been guilty of this. I have often thought I could receive more personal care at a clinic verses a hospital or center. However, this isn't always true. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as location, management, doctors, and just the staff will make the difference. How do you know without a first visit? Do a little research. Read reviews, websites, and talk to people that have had a personal experience.

Know what kind of care you would like to receive. If you like personal care, like I do, then you might think of seeing a doctor in your community. My family doctor is only 3 blocks from my house. I know nearly everyone there by their first name. My Doctor is a very busy guy. Everyone I know like's him. Because of this, his waiting room is always busy. Some days you might wait 4 hours before you get to see him. Some people might think this is a bad thing and he could manage his waiting room better. The reality of it, he has a numerous patients and stays over booked. I would rather have good personal care from my doctor than just be another number.

If you prefer to be more discreet, you might seek a facility that is bigger. Consider an urgent care facility. Urgent care facilities are unique because you can get in and get out and never see that doctor again. They operate through volume and there is nothing personal about it. They are also good in a pinch, if you're out of town, or just don't want to go to the emergency room at a hospital. Not to be confused with emergency care. If you are in a car wreck, don't go to an urgent care facility unless you have wrecked into it.

Management of a facility plays a big roll. You generally know right away if management is good or not by observing the staff. If your nurse or admin personnel seems disgruntle, that's a red flag. It could mean they hate their job. People will quit a job mostly for 2 reasons. First, their boss, the second, feeling self worth in that position. Why is this important? Because it can indicate how poor management has become. Management sets up their employees to either excel or fail. No one likes to feel like a failure. Facilities with bad management comes with a list of problems. High turn over, theft, non-engaged staff, and so on. High turn over will mean the staff is always having to learn the position. You might not get billed correctly. The doctor may not get paid correctly or even worse, the staff may seem preoccupied or staring into space; they may even be stealing from the practice. Even the software used can have an impact on a facility as well.

The practice management software should support best practices. Giving reports for the exception such as insurance rejection, delinquent patients, or underpayment. No one has time to run report and go through lines of data just to see what is not right. Instead, it should break down what is out of the ordinary. It should hold the staff accountable. There should be no double entry of data. If the software is bad, the staff and service could be bad too.

Finding a facility in your area that meets your needs can be a challenge. Remember to keep an open mind and the name or size doesn't say much about the kind of health care you may receive. Don't forget to check if the facility or doctor is in your insurance network.

Author: Brent Luyet

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