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Choosing Doctors

 

Woman making a phone call.When you enroll in a health plan, you choose your own doctor — called a Primary Care Provider (PCP). If you do not choose one at the time of enrollment, your health plan will choose one for you. It’s better if you choose! Read more to find out why.

A PCP, or Primary Care Provider, is the person you will go to for regular checkups and other basic health care services. Over time, your PCP will get to know you and your health care needs. Your PCP will also send you to specialists and other health care providers if you need more specialized health care.

Your PCP will manage all of your health care needs, and keep your records in one place.  Your children’s doctor will help you remember their Health Check visits, and make sure they are on the right track as they grow up.

You might already know a doctor that you like and think that they are the right fit for you or your children. Sometimes, you can find a good doctor by asking family or friends where they go for health care. Once you find a doctor or clinic that you think might make a good PCP, ask these questions:

  1. “Where is the doctor’s office, and will it be easy for me to get there from my home and work?”
  2. “Do I like the doctor, and do the doctor and staff seem professional?”
  3. “Will I be comfortable asking this doctor questions and sharing information about my health?” Or, if the doctor is for my children, “Will they be comfortable with the doctor?”
  4. “Does someone on the office staff speak the language that my family uses at home?”

After you find a doctor or clinic that is a good fit for your life and your family, ask which Medicaid health plan he or she works with. If you want to see that doctor, you must enroll in a health plan that the doctor works with.

If you have questions about doctors and health plans, call our call center.

Did this blog help to explain choosing a doctor?  Let us know!  Send us an email at blog@georgia-families.com. Please know that email is not private. Messages you send can be copied or read by others. If you send us an email, this tells us that you know and accept the risks. You may email us, but please consider calling, faxing, or sending us a letter if you want to send personal health information (PHI). PHI includes a Medicaid ID number, Social Security number and a member’s medical information.

18 comments

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  1. BRANDI N

    IS THERE A LIST OF APPROVED DOCTORS FOR THE VALDOSTA, GA AREA TO HELP ME NARROW DOWN MY SEARCH?

    1. GA Moderator

      Yes. Your health plan would be the best resource for helping you find a great doctor in your area. Please contact them directly for assistance. They will help you find the PCP that will best suit your families’ needs.

  2. Marquita

    I have a doctor that was chosen for me and I called to make an appointment to see him and I was told that they are not accepting new patients….so now what? I have to drive more than 30 minutes away to another doctor if they will accept me?

    1. GA Moderator

      I’m sorry that you have experienced this! Please contact your health plan and inform them of this matter. I’m sure that they will help you locate another doctor in your local area. Below is the contact information for each of the health plans:

      Amerigroup Community Care
      1-800-600-4441 (http://www.myamerigroup.com)

      WellCare of Georgia
      1-866-231-1821 (http://www.wellcare.com)

      Peach State Health Plan
      1-866-704-1484 (http://www.pshpgeorgia.com)

      If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Georgia Families Enrollment Center at 1-888-GA-ENROLL (1-888-423-6765) or visit our website again at http://www.georgia-families.com.

      Thank you!

  3. Shelley

    Yes, I recently enrolled in the Peach State Health Plan, and I have been trying to find an eye doctor, a dentist & an OB/GYN that accepts this plan (or GA Medicaid period). Can someone PLEASE help me?!?! How do I find a complete list of doctors that I can go to?? Thank you so much for your help!!

    Shelley

    1. GA Moderator

      Hi Shelley,

      All you need to do is contact your health plan and they will help you find providers in your area. You can also search for providers on the health plan’s website. Below is the their contact information:

      Peach State Health Plan
      1-800-704-1484 (http://www.pshpgeorgia.com)

      Should you have any additional questions or concerns about our program, please contact the Georgia Families Enrollment Center at 1-888-GA-ENROLL (1-888-423-6765) or visit our website again at http://www.georgia-families.com.

      Thanks!

  4. Jen

    Choosing a new doctor is always a bit intimidating because I want to make the right choices for my family, so I appreciate these tips. I like how you point out that it is important to look for someone who not only works close to your home, but also close to your work. I imagine it would be smart if they were located by the school the kids go to since I pick them up from school to go so often.

    1. GA Moderator

      Your statement is completely true. Please be aware that you can contact us at anytime if you have any other questions, concerns or comments about selecting a provider.

      Thank you.

  5. Dave

    I appreciate the information on the correct health plan to choose to make sure that you receive the care that you need. Like you said, I agree that it is important to make sure that the doctor’s office is close and that you feel comfortable talking openly to them. I think that when choosing a doctor it would be a good idea to do a health screening first to make sure that you have a good relationship with him/her.

    1. GA Moderator

      I think that would be an excellent idea also!

      It’s very important that members know that they can contact their health plan if they would like to change providers thereafter.

      Thank you very much Dave!

  6. Sherri

    I already have/see a PCP, and am seeing specialists that she has referred me to for my Cancer diagnosis, but do not have a provider number to enter on the form that I received in the mail just the other day. How can I get this number?

    1. GA Moderator

      You can do a provider search on the health plan’s website, or you can ask us for the PCP’s provider number. What doctor are you looking for?

  7. Rachel

    A friend of mine just moved to a new area and they need a good doctor. You wrote that you should choose a doctor that that has an office located near where you live. If my friend is close to the doctor, they could run their quickly for quick questions or have something looked at right away. I’ll have to tell my friend to look up doctors near their zip code, so that they don’t have to go far.

    1. GA Moderator

      Sure Rachel, that sounds like a great idea!

  8. Duncan

    I like a lot of questions that you ask in the article here; after all, you need to be considerate when choosing a doctor. I particularly like the one about whether you like the doctor. You will need to make sure that you’re comfortable with them if you’re going to let them check out your body.

  9. Amy

    I’m glad you pointed out that we should consider the location of the doctor’s office, and whether it will be convenient for us to get there from our home or workplace. My husband and I recently moved our family to a new area, so I’ve been searching for a primary care doctor to trust with my family’s medical care. I wasn’t sure which factors to consider in my decision, so thanks for sharing this article!

    1. GA Moderator

      You’re welcome!

  10. Sam Li

    I like what you suggested about asking a doctor which Medicaid health plan he or she works with. I think that finding an awesome primary care doctor is important in the event of a minor emergency. If I were to need a new doctor, I would look for a reputable primary care physician that had a personable demeanor.

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