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Facilities and Programs 6  Health and Medical Wishes: Providers, Facilities, and Programs (6)Check with your current doctors about the hospitals they’re affiliated with, and tell them which one you prefer. Too much time and money is wasted when selected providers are affiliated with different medical systems.

What if My Physicians Don’t Use the Same Hospitals and Diagnostic Testing Centers? Although this isn’t a disaster, having all of your care providers using the same facilities is certainly a lot more efficient. Why? If you’re admitted to a hospital and your physician doesn’t have consulting privileges, he or she won’t be able to see you, and you’ll have to rely on a new doctor.

So what can you do? Find out where each of your doctors has privileges, and try to use that hospital—not necessarily the hospital that’s closest to your home. If you’re like most of us, the first thing you do when you’re referred to a new physician is check your health insurance directory to make sure the referred doctor is part of your insurance plan.

Before you scream and yell that he or she isn’t there, check the online directory for your insurance company or give them a call. Better yet, call the business office of the physician you want to see and ask. The directories come out annually and aren’t always updated regularly. Let the Patient Beware! In every town, in every county, and in every state, there are certain health care providers that, frankly, are bad for your health.

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