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Feel comfortable with your doctor

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When you talk to your doctor, do you feel seen and heard? Do you trust your doctor to understand what you need? 

We know that trust takes time to build. Having trust and good communication with your health care provider can help you get the most out of your health care. We want you to:

  • Feel safe to voice your concerns.
  • Feel like you have the information you need to make the best health care choices for you.

Our commitment to you

We are committed to working toward health equity for our members.

Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.

We are committed to understanding what prevents health equity.

We ask the question, “How can we make sure all Alliance members get the best health care possible?”

We solve problems and get rid of barriers with the help of our staff, providers, community partners and you.

We are committed to taking action so you can be the healthiest version of you.

We get rid of barriers that stand in the way of our members’ health. We want your health care experience to reflect your culture and language of choice. We seek to create a safe space for you to grow comfortable with who you are and to reach your health goals.

A big part of your health care experience is visiting your doctor. So, how do you find a doctor that you connect with, and how can you make time with your doctor open and comfortable?

Here are a few tips:

Choose the right doctor for you

If you are new to the Alliance and need to find a doctor, you can visit our Find a Doctor page to get started.

Tip: Our directory has information on doctors’ genders and the languages they speak. You can look for a doctor that you feel you would connect with.

We also offer language assistance services, including:

  • Interpreters.
  • Written information in your language.
  • A Hearing or Speech Assistance Line.

Need to choose a new doctor?

You can visit our Choose Primary Doctor page  to ask to change your doctor.

See your doctor regularly

Seeing your doctor regularly can help you get to know each other so that you can get the best care. Your doctor can look at your health history and understand your unique needs.

Tip: You should always call your doctor first for an appointment. They may have video appointments or available times that may work best for you. Your doctor is listed on your Alliance Member ID Card.

If you are feeling sick or have urgent questions outside of your doctor’s office hours, call the Alliance Nurse Advice Line at 844-971-8907 (TTY: Dial 711) to talk to a nurse.

Talking with your doctor

Here are some things you can talk about with your doctor during your visit. Before your visit, you can write down questions or notes for you and your doctor to discuss. You can also take notes on what your doctor tells you so that you can look back on the information after your visit.

Before you see your doctor, ask yourself:

  • What am I seeing or feeling that I want my primary care provider to check? (Example: “My left ear aches each time I blow my nose.”)
  • When did it begin? (Example: “It started about a week ago when I first caught a cold.”)
  • What makes it better or worse? (Example: “It feels worse when I blow my nose and feels better in the morning after I shower.”)
  • What questions do I have and what worries me? (Example: Ask your doctor, “When will I start to feel better?” or “Does the medicine have side effects?”)

Tip: If you leave your doctor’s office and think of questions you have about what you talked about, you can call your doctor’s office to ask for more information.

If you are not happy with your doctor

If you are not happy with a doctor or the doctor’s office, it is best to talk to them first. Let someone in the office know what happened as soon as possible. Ask them for help with fixing the problem.

The Alliance is also here to help you, so please call us for help. You can file a grievance, also called a complaint, if you are unhappy with the way you were treated by your doctor or doctor’s office. After you file a complaint with us, an Alliance staff member will investigate your problem.

Questions?

If you have any questions, we are here for you! Please call Alliance Member Services Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 800-700-3874. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Assistance Line, call 800-735-2929 (TTY: Dial 711). You can also visit the member section of our website to see all the services we offer.

About the contributor:

Allyson Ellerbe

Written in collaboration with subject matter expert: Jessica Hampton, Enhanced Care Management Manager