Few relationships are held more sacred than the one between patient and doctor, and you have the right to choose the provider that is best for you. This is not just for your primary doctor, but patients’ rights also give you the right to choose when it comes to physician referrals.

Choosing a provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll make about your health care, and Southern Tier Connect is here to help you with that process if you want it. But also, it sometimes helps to do a little bit of your own research. Here are four simple steps you can take to help find a doctor that’s right for you.

  • Get a list of in-network providers:Talk to your care manager or call your insurance company for a list of doctors in your network. You’ll usually pay less to see a doctor in your network than a doctor who’s out-of-network.
  • Do your research:Ask friends and family if they recommend their doctors. You may even be able to read online reviews for doctors in your area.
  • Call the office for more information:Call the doctor’s office and ask them any questions you have to help you decide. Make sure they accept new patients and your health coverage.
  • Make an appointment, and give them a try:When you call to make your appointment, have your insurance card on hand. It might take more than one visit to figure out if a doctor is the right one for you.

If you have to go to the hospital, OPWDD recommends completing the “ready-to-go” form, which provides essential medical information in an emergency.

You can download the form here.