It’s Not You, It’s Me; Breaking Up with an Ineffective Healthcare Network
Tracy E. Bingaman, MSPAS, PA-C
Patients and Caregivers often end up feeling “trapped” in a relationship with a particular Healthcare Network. If you see a Primary Care Provider at the Local or Regional Healthcare Network, they are likely going to refer you to that Hospital, Lab, Urgent Care, Emergency Room, and in-network Specialists for your ongoing care. You do NOT need to get these tests done at these specific locations or see these specific providers. Be empowered to ask about second opinions, other locations, or to research these out-of-network options yourself!
Patients and caregivers are frequently surprised that the option exists to get testing, treatment, and care from other local providers that are out-of-network, private, or employed by another network.
Offices often dissuade patients from seeking second opinions from out of network providers or going to outside facilities for testing in the way they or their office staff describe the monumental hurdles of Electronic Medical Records and the barriers to clear communication and ease of accessing records. It’s a fax. It’s picking up the phone and requesting a faxed copy of your records.
Letting your Provider’s office know in advance you obtained testing or treatment from an outside facility can give them ample warning to go about obtaining these records. As more an more offices and facilities transition to Electronic Medical Records, the transfer of this information will be more and more effective, easy, and streamlined. Even communication between networks and between networks and private providers is improving.
Do not let any of these above logistics prevent you from seeking outside counsel, testing, and care. Do your research, find a Provider using our Provider Locator Tool, ask for references and recommendations from local friends and family, and find the Provider that is best for you.
It does not matter if the Provider is employed by a big hospital system, a regional system, in a practice with multiple other providers, or on their own – what matters is that they are the right provider for you! Don’t let the inconvenience of sending an extra fax or two prevent you from getting the best care possible!