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How to Pick a Doctor to Remove My "X"

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): How to Pick a Doctor to Remove My "X"

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

How to Pick a Doctor to Remove My "X"

I know many of us have insurance through the military. Many of us get our healthcare on post. There are some of us though who choose to get our care on the outside, through a civilian doctor. Of course, if we want Tricare to pay for it, we have to go through a Tricare provider, plus if we see a specialist, we need a referral from our regular doctor, aka primary care manager. I recently had a procedure done and found out I did have a choice in who to pick. I stared at a list of doctors in my area, not knowing which one I should choose and why. So, I followed these steps.

  • I googled them. I googled them one by one. Wow, one had done something I consider a bit risque (yes, it was him...I saw his photo) and another was on the State Medical Board of Health, a position that not everyone is even considered for. He was selected by the governor to sit on that board. How impressive.
  • Has the doctor ever been disciplined? Check U Compare Health Care. You'll even see his hospital affiliation and where he went to school. I would've had reservations if he had gotten his medical degree on some tropical island.
  • Practice makes perfect, right? I checked how many surgeries of this particular kind the doctor has under his belt. I asked the doctor this directly but also found out his hospital affiliation and called the hospital to get that information there too (he was right). If I wanted to delve a bit farther, I could've checked Health Grades for a fee.
  • I contacted Tricare and checked out what the average cost was for that procedure, how much Tricare pays and what, if any, my copay would be. I also checked with each doctor's office and asked what their charge was. This gave me a better idea of what the cost should be..what was reasonable and what perhaps wasn't.
  • I checked if any had been sued for malpractice. That in itself may not tell you enough though. Some doctors, depending on their specialty, may get sued more than others. You have to compare apples to apples, comparing doctors of that specialty to others in that field.
What do you do, if anything before you let a doctor take a knife to you?

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1 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

Unfortunately, I've done too much "letting the post health care" do the procedures. I did have a good post doctor (civilian) who did my hysterectomy. And since it was done on post, I never saw a lick of paperwork from Tricare...not a single thing! It was nice.

BUT...our post/Tricare is odd. If we choose to go off post or use a different PCM than the post hospital/clinics, we can not stay on Tricare Prime. I don't know what the rationale is behind that. But every single person who uses civilian medical care here ends up on Standard.

My one or two experiences with referrals to off-post (but Tricare listed) providers were NOT good...so, while I may complain about the quality of care I get at my PCM, it's been better than what I get off.

April 8, 2008 at 7:26 PM  

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