Tips for Choosing a Diabetes Doctor
Tips for Choosing a Diabetes Doctor
Your diabetes doctor is your coach in the race for a healthy life. Whether you have just been diagnosed with diabetes or have been fighting the disease for a big part of your life, your general treatment strategy, your day-to-day management of diabetes, and, as a result, your overall quality of life will depend on the doctor that you choose. The relationship that you develop with your doctor and the level of trust you achieve will also affect the outcome quite a lot. In other words, choosing the right diabetes doctor plays one of the major roles in how effectively you take care of your condition. But how to make the right choice? Here are a few tips that will help you choose your best diabetes doctor.
Seek out referrals
The best way to start is to ask for referral from the people you know and trust, such as family members, friends, your primary care doctor, or other doctors and healthcare professionals with whom you have already established relationships. Each time you get a recommendation, make sure to ask for the reason why they refer the particular diabetes doctor to you. You can also start your search by contacting the local offices of American Diabetes Association (ADA) and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) for doctor recommendation or search the website of American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) to see the list of diabetes doctors in your area.
Check with your insurance company
Once you get a few doctor recommendations, you need to find out which ones of them are considered “in-network” doctors by your insurance. Even though many insurance companies publish the lists of in-network doctors on their websites, those lists can be outdated. The best way to make sure a certain diabetes doctor is in your health insurance network is to contact the doctor’s office and inquire if the doctor is a network provider for your insurance company, not just accepts your insurance. Although doctors, who are not in-network, might accept your insurance, they might not bill on your behalf or not receive full reimbursement, or the doctors might only go so far as to submit the claim to insurance for you, which means you have a big chance of getting an unexpected bill.
Do your research
When you narrowed down your search to the doctors that are considered “in-network” by your insurance, try to learn more about them by doing some online research to make sure those doctors have proper board certification and experience to provide the services you need. You most likely will also be able to find out what medical schools the doctors attended, what were their training hospitals, what areas they specialize in, and whether they have a history of malpractice. Besides, your online research should include reading patients reviews of the doctors that you’re considering to visit. Other people’s experience will provide you information on how easy or hard it is to make an appointment, what wait time to expect, how much time the particular doctors spend with their patients and how well they answer patients’ questions, along with other details that will help you choose what doctors to see.
Visit and evaluate
Naturally, you will schedule an appointment to the doctor or doctors that you eventually choose. You should come well prepared and be ready to ask questions about your condition that are important to you. Notice if the doctor is interested in getting to know you, how well you understand the answers to your questions, and what the doctor asks you in response. After the appointment, analyze how comfortable the doctor’s visit went, how informative it was for you, and how easy it was to communicate with the doctor. If you feel satisfied, you found the right doctor to help you fight diabetes, but if not, you should continue your search for the right diabetes doctor.
Finding the right diabetes doctor is one of the most important thing you can do to put up a fight for a healthy life. The choice you make can significantly alter your treatment options, as well as your understanding of the disease and your current condition, which consequently, will define your goals and affect how quickly you will be able to achieve them. After all, it is your diabetes, your race for a healthy life, and it your responsibility to find the best coach to help you win that race.