Tips to Find a Doctor or Hospital

When you need to find a doctor or hospital, take the time to research your options. Follow the steps below to help find a provider or medical facility that meets your needs.

1. Check Your Provider Network

Start With a Search

Your health plan works with a group of doctors, specialists and health care facilities. This is known as your provider network. Before you see a doctor, search our providers to see the doctors and hospitals in your provider network.

Log In for Optimal Results

To see the most accurate results, register or log in to Blue Access for MembersSM (BAMSM) our secure member website. In BAM, you'll get personalized search results covered by your health plan.

2. Research and Narrow Your List

Go Online

Search online for articles and reports about the doctors and hospitals you are considering.

You can also log in to BAM to see ratings, reviews, awards and recognitions like:

The Joint Commission accreditation and certification. Recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality, this distinction reflects an organization's commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

Blue Distinction Centers® — These specialty care facilities have a proven track record for delivering results, like fewer complications and readmissions, than hospitals without this recognition.

Ask Questions

Contact the doctors or hospitals on your list and ask for more information that's important to your decision. To get started, here are some questions to ask a potential doctor:

  • What is your training and education?
  • How long have you been in practice?
  • Are you board-certified? (This requires specialty training.)

When researching a potential hospital or health care facility, you may want to consider:

  • Is it easy to get to for you and your loved ones who may want to visit?
  • Does it specialize in treating your health problem? If so, ask about their training and success in treating your health problem.
  • How many cases like yours are seen there each year? What are the results?
  • Does it provide the types of testing you will need?

Check for Complaints

Contact your state's department of insurance and see if the doctor or facility you are considering has had complaints filed against them.

3. Make Your Choice

By now you should have a pretty good idea of the appropriate option for you. Save your research, just in case you decide to switch to another doctor or hospital later. If you've done everything outlined here, chances are you've found the right provider for you.

  • Video transcript

    Do you have a doctor?

    Like, really; what's their name? How often do you see them? Do they know your overall health situation?

    If not, then it sounds like you need to select a primary care physician. 

    Find a primary care physician is a crucial first step in using your health care coverage and it's important to see that doctor regularly to start building a relationship.

    Many people with a PPO health plan assume that they don't need a primary care physician, but nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone needs one, here's why.

    The health care system is complicated, right? Primary care physicians (a lot of people call them PCPs), they help their patients navigate their health care. Think of your PCP as your first point of contact - the main doctor who coordinates all of your care. They're a designated resource who knows you and your health history, and can connect you with specialists when needed.

    Now you might be thinking, "I'm pretty healthy." Good for you! A PCP can help you keep things that way. They see patients whether they're sick or well. To stay healthy, you need screenings for things like blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and even cancer. Your PCP can handle all of those preventive health needs, as well as many non-emergency health issues. Think common colds, rashes and allergies. And studies show that people who have a PCP live longer, healthier lives.

    They're also one of your lowest cost options for care. Their office visits are less expensive than visits to specialists or urgent care clinics. And most health plans cover their annual wellness exams at no cost. 

    Of course, we don't always see sickness coming. When it does happen, you'll be glad that you have a doctor. It's easier to schedule an appointment when you have an established relationship. Plus, not all physicians are accepting new patients. But the good news is technology is making it easier than ever to see a doctor. Many of them are now seeing patients virtually. 

    Designating a PCP is important for you, but it's also important to the overall health care system. There's growing evidence that primary care plays a critical role in the growing future of health care, especially in a new approach called value-based care. 

    Spend some time designating a primary care physician for you and your family. Insurers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas offer up tools like Provider Finder to help you locate a physician.

    Selecting a primary care physician is a foundational first step in your health care journey. Take action today.

Last Updated: Oct. 12, 2023