The healthcare system of the USA is both amazing and confusing. At the same time, the system provides you amazing healthcare and a lot of frustration if you don’t know how to manage it.
Unlike the rest of the world, the USA invented the medical insurance to cover the treatment of all patients in the country. It is a unique way to distinguish the government from the hospitals. Something that most countries in the world didn’t manage to do over the years.
There are over 230.000 medical practices in the country. That meant every single one is capable to admit around 1400 patients. Of course, not all of them are suitable for every kind of disease and not all of them have the same capacity. At the same time, there are enormous hospitals with a capacity to treat a lot more patients and there’s also the fact that the majority of citizens are not seeking or need medical care all the time. See more stats here.
The number of 1400 patients per practice is amazing. For comparison, India, a country of over a billion people has only 390.000 registered doctors. Not institutions, but persons. Imagine the difference and the lines for the doctor’s office.
If you’re an American citizen you should consider yourself a lucky person for the opportunity to have such easy access to medical care. The only problem is that the system might be a little confusing for the common man. That’s why you should consider these two steps to find the best medical care around you!
1. Locate the healthcare institutions around you
There aren’t giant hospitals and medical centers on every corner. You can’t expect to walk out of your home, cross the street and enter a giant hospital where doctors will take care of you like in the ER movies.
Not every practice can treat everything on you. There are lots of places but they all deal with something different. There might be a sign for the hospital just a block away from your house, but that might be a clinic for kidneys and you might never need a treatment for this. Who knows what the future will bring, right?
On the other hand, you might have a predisposition for knee and ankle problems. You’re going to need a doctor that is specialized in this area. You’ll have to search for a practice that is dealing with these kinds of problems.
Before you start walking down the streets with a map of the city and highlight every medic on it, know that there’s a much easier way.
Today, the internet offers everything you need when healthcare is in question. All those practices we mentioned are available online. You can see what they do, how good they’re doing it, and what kind of insurance they have in their line of work.
To do this, all you have to do is open any web browser and search for doctors near me. You’ll see that thousands of results will come up. For some people, this is also very confusing and chances are big that you’ll be confused too. You’ll have to browse through the thousands if not millions of pages looking for the one that’s closest to you.
Instead, you can just open some of the web pages that have a list of medics in their database. Most of them offer the location of the practice, phone, webpage, and additional information that might be useful for you.
These pages are brilliant. You have everything in one place. You can search for what you need and see on the map where it is. You can choose the closest one and in real-time check out if they provide a good service by reading the reviews from their previous clients.
You can make a list of places that are most needed for you and always know where to go if something happens. Fast locating a dentist, a physician, and a psychiatrist has never been easier. All you have to do is know what you’re looking for.
2. Check with your insurance company
What makes the US healthcare so confusing and complex is the insurance policy system. Some of the developed countries in the world have their own governmental health which is completely covered by the state, but the USA is working on a different level.
In the USA, every person must have a personal insurance policy. Whenever they visit the doctor, the insurance pays for the service provided by the hospital, the clinic, or the healthcare practice of some kind. This all sounds very simple and brilliant, isn’t it? Of course, but here’s the catch.
There are thousands of insurance companies and even more medical institutions. It’s impossible every single one of them to have a contract for collaboration with each other. That means you’ll have to check if your insurance has made a deal with the doctor you’re about to visit. Read more about how health insurance works here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_insurance.
If they haven’t you’ll have to pay for everything in cash. When there’s an emergency and you’re in a lot of pain, you don’t ask for these details. You simply go to the nearest place there is so they can take care of you. It’s normal. Later, when the bill arrives, the problems begin.
That’s why it’s wiser to open the map and see which clinic supports your plan. Before anything happens, you need to make a list of places where you can go for different kinds of needs. If there’s a heart attack which can be life-threatening, you need to know which one is the place to call. A cardiologist is one of the most respected professions in the world and they charge a lot of money for their services. If you pay in cash, you might get another one when you see the bill.
Following these two main issues will help you get through the complex healthcare system. Using the internet will help you the most, so stay safe until you can, and then use the internet wisely to recover faster and better.