Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Primary Care Physician Search Continues

This afternoon I decided that it was high time to work on my project to find a Primary Care Physician. As a result of my post back in March, and some requests for ideas, I received a number of recommendations to various doctors. (Thanks, everyone!) Unfortunately, none of the doctors recommended participate in my provider network.

Today I decided to try Angie's List, an online reviewing/reporting service to help people find local service providers of all types. I decided to sign up for a year's membership, as I can think of a number of additional service providers that I may need to find over the next year. I used a promotion code to reduce the cost of a year's membership to approximately $60.

I drew up two lists of providers: one from my health insurance directory, and one from Angie's List, both listing Primary Care Physicians located close to my address (I really don't want to have to drive more than 5 miles if I'm deathly ill, in severe pain, vomiting, or the like. I'll never forget the time I has the flu and had to call and push my appointment back because I couldn't move fast enough to get to the scheduled appointment on time!) I then compared the lists to one another to see if I could find a participating doctor who had received favorable reviews on Angie's List. (Beware: This is a mind-numbing task.)

Guess what? Whenever a doctor participated with my insurance AND had reviews on Angie's List, they were not accepting new patients. This overlap occurred maybe three times. What does this mean? Are the in-network doctors not very good or well-known? Does Angie's List need to expand their doctor list and entice more people to report their experiences with doctors? Probably yes to both. (The Angie's List for Health is 'new', so perhaps it just needs more time to get off the ground?)

I really didn't want to close my eyes and point to choose a Primary Care Physician, but it appears that it's my next option unless something else occurs to me. I am so frustrated that I cannot find a comprehensive list of doctors that includes feedback on the quality of care provided.

On the brighter side, I used Angie's List to continue searching for someone with drafting/architectural experience who can draw my proposed new front stoop so that we can replace it. I was able to find a list of local businesses with positive reviews. Maybe this will result in a response from someone who is willing to do the work. (It's a small project--the hardest types of projects to complete, apparently!)


Anonymous said...

Hey, Michelle! I came across your post. Did you know that Angie's List members get more than just website help? Call 1-888-888-5478 and ask for a Neighborhood Specialist. We'll track down some additional physicians for you -- and we might update the records of the docs you found who weren't taking new patients.

Welcome to the List!

Cheryl Reed
Angie's List

Michelle said...

Thanks! I will call this afternoon when I have time to continue the search.

Anonymous said...

Great! We'll be waiting by the phone (really...:)