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Choosing Quality Health Care

Here are some tips for including quality in your health care decisions. Such decisions involve health plans, doctors, treatments, hospitals, and long-term care.

Look for a health plan that:

  • Has been given high ratings by its members on the things that are important to you.
  • Does a good job of helping people stay well and get better.
  • Has the doctors and hospitals you want or need.
  • Provides the benefits (covered services) you need.
  • Provides services where and when you need them.

Look for a doctor who:

  • Has received high ratings for quality of care.
  • Has the training and experience to meet your needs.
  • Takes steps to prevent illness—for example, will talk to you about getting the screening tests that are right for you.
  • Can get you admitted to or treat you at the hospital of your choice.
  • Is part of your health plan, unless you are willing to pay extra.
  • Will work with you to make decisions about your health care.

When choosing a treatment, make sure you understand:

  • Your diagnosis.
  • How soon you need to be treated.
  • Your treatment choices.
  • Whether the treatments are based on the latest scientific evidence.
  • The benefits and risks of each treatment.
  • The costs of each treatment.
  • How much experience your doctor has in treating your condition.

Look for a hospital that:

  • Is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
  • Is rated highly by the State and by consumer groups or other organizations.
  • Is one where your doctor can treat you.
  • Is covered by your health plan.
  • Has a lot of experience and success with your condition.
  • Monitors quality of care and works to improve quality.

Look for a long-term-care facility that:

  • Has been found by State agencies and other groups to provide quality care.
  • Provides a level of care, including staff and services, that will meet your needs.

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