Both your time and that of your doctor are important. When you book an appointment, you’ll want to make the most of this time, as the outcome will impact your diagnosis and the course of action your doctor recommends. Here are some things your physician wants you to know before you show up to your next appointment.

It’s Best to Confirm Your Provider Is In-Network

Healthcare providers change participation in healthcare networks frequently. That’s why it makes sense to confirm your provider is in-network before you book an appointment or receive services.

Similarly, it’s a good idea to locate and confirm your nearest emergency or urgent care facility is in-network. Then, if you experience an unexpected accident or medical event, you will know where to go.

Your member ID card contains all of the information a provider will need to confirm your program and benefits. There may be confusion on the part of the provider because health sharing is not as common as insurance, so don’t be alarmed. If this happens, have the provider contact member services to understand the situation and to help clarify.

Make Your Appointment and Request Preauthorization, If Needed

There are a couple of important things to do when making your appointment. The first thing is that you should be specific about the nature of your appointment. For instance, an annual wellness visit is usually a 45-minute appointment designed to give you a good picture of your overall health. An annual wellness visit does not count toward any number of allowed visits established by your program, and there is no consult fee. On the other hand, scheduling a routine visit for a medical need will count toward any allowable number of visits and you will need to be prepared to pay the per-visit consult fee outlined in your program benefits.

Requesting a preauthorization for your annual wellness visit ensures that both you and your provider understand what services and benefits are included in your specific healthshare program. Many health care programs review requests very quickly and coordinate with your provider to ensure a quick approval process.

Get an Appointment Confirmation

Your provider will reach out via phone call  or text to confirm your appointment. If you don’t hear from your provider, it’s a good idea to contact them to make sure you’re on the calendar as scheduled. It’s no fun showing up when you’re not on the books!

Show Up 20 Minutes Early

You may have had a lot of experience with long wait times sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your doctor doesn’t care about your time. In fact, it’s often the opposite. Just as much as you may hate waiting to be called into an examination room, doctors hate waiting for patients to show up on time for their appointments.

Physicians do their best to maintain a schedule, and if you show up late, not only will their schedule be thrown off, but they will have less time for you. If you aren’t going to show up at all, cancel as early as you can so the doctor can open up that time slot for another patient.

Be Honest

Doctors want to know as much about their patients’ conditions or symptoms as possible, and that may include filling them in on anything that may affect your situation. Unfortunately, some patients may withhold certain pieces of information out of embarrassment or fear that they may be reprimanded.

Be open with your doctor about anything that may be important, such as whether you’re taking herbal supplements that may affect any medication prescribed or anything else you may be doing that could affect your health and what your doctor may recommend for you. To make the right decisions for you, your doctor will need as much information as possible, so don’t hold back.

Discuss Your Family’s Medical Past

While you may not have experienced certain ailments, some of your family members may have, and that could impact what course of action your doctor believes you should take. You may be more at risk for certain conditions based on what your family has experienced, whether it’s cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or any other condition. Discussing this with your doctor will help create a clearer picture of what plan your physician decides you should take.

Woman meeting with her doctor.

Jot Down a List of Your Symptoms

It’s easy to forget to list all the symptoms that you may be experiencing when you’re sitting with your doctor. Missing a symptom or two could make it more difficult for your doctor to accurately diagnose you. To make sure this doesn’t happen, go into the appointment armed with a written list of your symptoms, as well as when they started, and if there is anything you find that helps or makes things worse.

Be Prepared with Questions

In addition to jotting down your symptoms, come prepared with any questions you have for your healthcare provider. Because it’s easy to get stressed and distracted in a doctor’s office, having your questions down in written form will help you remember everything you want to ask.

Make Smart Payment Decisions

Rather than simply accepting that traditional health insurance is your best bet, consider your options. For instance, find out if your doctor is one of the millions of doctors that accept health share programs.

Health share programs are often a more affordable choice for certain families. Also, health share programs give you the freedom to choose which in-network doctor to use and which treatments to pursue. This freedom and flexibility is a plus for you, and it may also be much appreciated by your doctor.

If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to health insurance that offers freedom and flexibility, then a health share program may be right for you. Get in touch with USHealthshare to discuss your options and choose the plan that is best suited to you and your family.

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