| Tue, Sep 08, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

10 Ways to Help Prepare for Your Next Doctor Visit

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

doctor visitHave you ever left a medical appointment only to realize you forgot to tell the doctor something important? Were you given important instructions and forgot what the doctor told you?  Have you felt rushed or ill-prepared once you got to the clinic? This can happen to anyone from time to time. If this happens to you a lot, there are certain steps you can take to help get the most out of your next doctor’s appointment.

  1. Ask the doctor’s office to send you any paperwork ahead of time. That way you can fill it out at home without feeling rushed.
  1. Arrive for your appointment a few minutes early in case you need to fill out any additional paperwork like medication updates or HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996)
  1. Check with your insurance company to find out what the costs will be for the visit or any services provided at the visit.
  1. Bring a family member or friend to your appointment to help remember important instructions from your doctor. You may also want to plan in advance to have someone drive you home if you’ll be undergoing certain medical procedures.
  1. Take paper and a pencil to write down what your doctor tells you so you won’t forget later.
  1. Write a list of concerns you want to discuss with your doctor and bring it with you to the appointment. This could include things like new symptoms, symptoms that aren’t getting better, medication concerns, changes in health or anything else you want your doctor to know. To complete your doctor visit checklists, click here for worksheets to help you get started. Print them out and complete them before your next visit.
  1. Take documentation or other important information with you to your appointment. This could include medical reports from visits with other medical providers, x-rays, and all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medicine, vitamins and supplements. It may be easier to put all your medications in a bag and bring the whole thing with you.
  1. Wear your hearing aids or eyeglasses to your appointment if you need them. If you can’t hear what the doctor is saying, you may miss out on some important information.
  1. Take any medical devices you are currently using to your appointment. The doctor may want to make sure they still fit or work, or to see if they need to be adjusted or replaced.
  1. If you don’t understand something your doctor has told you, ask your doctor to repeat it or explain it again.

You may also be interested in How to Choose the Right Hospital for You.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

Resources:

4 Simple Steps to a Successful Doctor Visit: Medicare Made Clear

Talking With Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People: NIH National Institute on Aging

Medicare.gov: Visit the official U.S. government site for Medicare.

 

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