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Facilities and Programs 5  Health and Medical Wishes: Providers, Facilities, and Programs (5)If you need complicated brain surgery to treat a brain aneurysm, you should be asking the newly introduced neurosurgeon, “Do you think you can help me?” not “Do you have an East End office?” When your life is on the line, you want a doctor with top-notch skills and experience who will provide the best possible care.

Availability, while still important, should become a secondary consideration. When you’re picking a new health care provider, don’t just pick the first name in your health care insurance book. Instead, ask around and get referrals.

Also if you’re seeing more than one physician for a particular condition, consider whether they know each other and have a good working relationship. Ask Doctor No if he works with Doctor Yes. If you don’t get an answer, check with the doctor’s staff.

In a time of crisis, you need your providers to be able to communicate with each other. And although we’d like to think they could rise above personal differences, would you be able to? Another important factor is whether your different physicians have admitting or consulting privileges at the same hospital.

Unknowingly, patients often rely on two or more groups of physicians at different facilities. If you see one doctor as an outpatient and are then admitted to a hospital that he or she doesn’t visit, you’ll be stuck with someone new. During initial consultations with new physicians, ask what facilities they use.

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