According to experts, there are some challenges to finding a doctor when you are new to this area. The answer to seeking care is both obvious and complicated.
Here’s why. And some insights to helping you navigate your way through.
Physicians themselves are aging, and with the surge of retirees here, it is a challenge for doctors to meet increasing medical and overhead costs. Added to the equation is their low reimbursement from private insurance and Medicare.
So, where do you start when you are new to southern Delaware and find yourselves trying to establish that ever-important relationship? First, there are resources on the internet that can make recommendations, and it’s definitely an option to reach out to your insurance carrier for guidance on getting set up with a primary care physician within their network. For online searches, one highly rated option is healthgrades.com.
The two major local health systems are Beebe and Bayhealth, both which have grown exponentially in size and have a healthy competition going on. But to find your primary care doc through either system is not easy, since the primary doctors are receiving the lowest reimbursements compared to specialists, and they often have waiting lists that can make you wait months just for a basic issue or annual exam.
There are “doc in a box” facilities that can address emergency or basic care, as an option. But that does not necessarily take the personal needs into the grand scheme of one’s own healthcare. SO, as a point of priority, get scheduled ASAP for your ‘introductory’ or ‘new patient’ visit so you can get in for regular visits with more ease.
A new, trending concept (not just in Delaware, but increasingly everywhere) is the idea of “concierge” healthcare, in which patients typically pay a set fee annually, which gives patients the ability to be seen whenever they are in need. Local doctors are leaning towards this for obvious reasons: predictable income while managing overhead.
The benefits of boutique-style access to your doctor certainly is appealing. But the price tag can be exorbitant for the majority of people, and this model has its drawbacks because of that. Especially for people on fixed incomes. Concierge care can cost upwards of five figures – per year per person.
Here in Delaware, there are standard healthcare options, but you may be waiting in a long line for preventive or even specialty care. There are also other options, including the model called direct primary care (DPC) that is similar to concierge care, usually much less expensive, but most physicians do not accept insurance as payment. So the patient, while having access to quick appointments may end up paying out of pocket for unexpected charges, especially if there are emergencies.
However you choose your healthcare in southern Delaware, keep in mind that there are choices when deciding on the highly personal relationship with a doctor.
Stay healthy and do your research! ‘The greatest wealth is health.’ – Virgil