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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.


Finding a New Doctor or Hospital?

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Question: Well, I need to find new doctors and hospitals and facilities as none of my current ones are in my plan. Does an independent and reliable ratings system for hospitals, facilities, and doctors exist? Blue Shield rates hospitals but it seems limited and maybe it is biased.

Answer: Believe it or not, YELP.com to be a great way to find a new doctor. The reviews are written by patients like you. Look for negative reviews retold by more than one patient. For example, I checked on a doctor I used to see. Several reviews complained about her staff being deliberately rude and incompetent, which was exactly my experience. As for hospitals, try a Google search for "best hospitals in (city or county name)" and read more than one search result. You'll get the picture.

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Yelp is a great resource, as is google.

As supplements, I’ve used healthgrades.com for doctors. But the ratings there seem to be completely anonymous without written reviews, so I use it only as a secondary source. I’m not sure how much that’s worth.

For hospitals, a very decent source seems to be http://www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html It allows you to compare survey results from 100s of patients, and other data, on up to 3 hospitals at once. It isn’t terrifically easy to use, but there is a lot of info buried if you take the time to find it.

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