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Welcome back tonight we're continuing our week -- user's guide to your health care tonight as you change an agent -- health insurance.
At companies consolidate.
The likelihood you'll have to change your doctor is growing.
My next guest says consumers do little due diligence in choosing a doctor -- are likely to spend more time picking out -- furniture.
-- a -- here to explain this doctor Don Powell the CEO of American and preventative medicine and the author of -- here at home.
Your guide to self care and wise health consumerism.
Glad to have you here doctor tell us why do people pay so -- Attention to the doctors say issues.
Well I think as you say as consumers we tend to spend more on the consumable items about four hours on buying a computer.
An hour and a half -- shopping for issues and only 45 minutes on average in selecting their provider.
And unfortunately that's not enough time particularly when you're talking about somebody that determines your health and well being and how long you may live.
How what are the critical things to do to pick a doctor that's that's gonna be right for you when -- to do a great job.
Right well when you wanna make sure the doctor is except -- insurance in this provide it when part of your insurance network is that can be very expensive that they are not.
Are you want to find out about their office hours and it's a convenient in terms of their location.
Who won't be able to see you when the doctor is not there.
Have there been any lawsuits that been import against the provider.
And if so how many what with the outgrowth of those and that is a matter of public record for many people to access.
Com how -- are they are they board certified or simply board eligible board certified means -- passed an exam after their residency.
What eligible meaning they've they've taken -- residency but never passed the exam.
Even deciding whether you want an endearing -- are all different decisions -- -- the apple need to make when selecting a provider with Cynthia.
Doctor across the -- That's the apathy.
I've never even heard that that's it -- -- okay.
Looking what do you think she brought up I find critical in and and very important to our viewers in picking a doctor.
The doctor have to be in network otherwise you're paying big bucks every single time you see them.
And you had some astonishing numbers Medicare -- -- payment for an average outpatient visit.
A 153 dollars but you can see doctors who will charge you as much as 6200.
Tell me about that.
Yes there's a lot of variation based upon what physicians charge and we recommend that consumers even before they select the doctor find out what the various fees are for various types of procedures.
I and that gives you more and munition to actually negotiate with your doctor regarding fees.
We try to teach patients to become wiser consumers so that they don't simply accept everything whether it's the fees or what the doctor tell -- them to do.
And research shows that an empowered consumer actually ends up getting better care is more satisfied with their care and has better outcomes.
And -- by arming and being formed and -- as a consumer we can go a long way in terms of improved.
Feel like the industry does not make it easy.
To find out about these doctors there's no American Medical Association annual grade of doctors.
I mean you really have to do your homework if you want to find something other than just the basics where did they go to school.
Not that can be pretty easy -- read the wall in their office but otherwise finding some of this data had not -- Right I would like to know what sort of grades my doctor got when they were in medical school and if I'm gonna have surgery I would want them to have high honors when they took their surgery classes are supposed to Bailey.
-- passing it.
So yes there are some website you can go to but.
They're biased in nature one is that they may not have a lot of reviews about that doctor so it's a very small sampling.
To the doctor may have family -- friends right in the reviews themselves so they're quite a bias in nature.
And then you also have -- patients that may be complain about a doctor not because of the doctors competency.
But they didn't like the bill they received -- they had to wait a long time in the office so those are criteria may want.
Well shooter but I really hit home at the shop in the -- how long held a -- I think that's not a -- important consideration.
Given that people often wait quite a bit of time -- and spend very little time with the doctor themselves you know I think that friends and family are a good.
Place to go for report's suggestions but certainly not the only place.
One of the questions people ask me is look I can think of very young doctor and have access to the very latest medical training.
Or I could pick an older doctor and have access to years and years of experience which is the better.
Yeah well it depends upon the individual actually switch from an established doctor because he had a very poor bedside manner.
As a relates to -- health condition I have to a younger doctor.
Although I did query that doctor a lot about his experience particularly if I might have to have surgery.
How often he has done this surgery what his outcomes have been related to that surgery.
All when we spend time selecting a doctor -- may not only just be.
Looking online about what their criteria -- are there experience or credentials but also meeting with the doctor interviewing the doctor the same way you might have.
Two -- three contractors come out to your house before doing an addition.
You wanna go around and -- several doctors and feel how it is with them are you comfortable you feel like you -- discuss anything with the doctor even sexual concerns.
Do they listen to you.
The average patient has for questions only gets one and a half of that -- during the typical.
I got a widget that's so -- that dot that I surely -- -- patient early ninety seconds after the patient starts talking.
That's not the kind of doctor you want you want somebody that you feel you can converse with.
He wants somebody who's not gonna tell you what to do but rather -- your opinions into account.
They're not afraid -- you don't question them as to if they recommend a medication if they recommend a procedure or even recommend bachelor guy -- -- -- -- -- that I what are you -- straight six that are.
Pardon me doctor.
The doctor right she -- So I don't want them to talk on the telephone with me when I need that I -- I want them to respond to email.
How likely is -- that I can find somebody who will be able to communicate at that level.
Yeah are more likely they're gonna call you back had maybe 24 hours later.
Only about 17% of doctors are now communicating with their patients through email that's certainly get a change as more and more doctors become wired and we move towards.
Electronic health records.
But still doctors tend to be somewhat traditionally nature -- -- way they communicate with patients while all that is gonna change in that.
Weeks and years ahead doctor -- -- for coming on great information appreciate your time.
Thank you Gerri nice to be here thank you.
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