Find Doctors and Medical Facilities

Find tools to locate doctors, hospitals, care facilities, and other medical facilities.

Choose Doctors and Health Care Services

Choosing the best health care for your needs can depend on many factors:

Key Things to Consider 

What Your Insurance Covers

  • Find out which doctors participate in your health insurance plan.
  • If you are having surgery, check to see if all providers (radiologists, anesthesiologists) are also covered by your plan, to avoid surprise bills.

Whether a Doctor or Healthcare Service is Accredited

  • Find out if they are licensed in your state. A state or local occupational and professional licensing board will be able to give you this information.
  • Research whether they are board-certified in the appropriate specialty. You can find this information on the website of the American Medical Association (AMA), and the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Certification Matters lookup.

A Healthcare Provider's Track Record

  • Look into how often the health care professional has done the procedure you need or has treated your condition. You may be able to find some of this information on the Internet. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report the success rates and number of procedures performed by fertility clinics. Some states collect and post data on the success of heart-bypass surgery.
  • Check whether there have been any complaints or disciplinary actions taken against your health care provider by contacting your state medical board

Location and Availability 

  • Find out whether the doctor's office is in an area that you can get to easily.
  • Ask if the office has hours during times when you can make an appointment.
  • Check whether the doctor has privileges at the hospital you prefer.

Relationship with Your Healthcare Provider

  • Make sure you communicate well with your healthcare provider. 
  • He or she should listen to your concerns and clearly explain diagnoses and benefits of new treatments and prescriptions.

Review Health Provider and Service Directories

These resources can help you search for doctors and health care services:

Learn about Low Cost Services

If you need help paying for health services:

  • See if you qualify for lower costs on health insurance.
  • Apply for limited free or low cost dental care.
  • Find a local health care center, offered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which provides care, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. These healthcare centers provide: 
    • Checkups when you're well.
    • Treatment when you're sick.
    • Complete care when you're pregnant.
    • Immunizations and checkups for your children.
    • Dental care and prescription drugs for your family.
    • Mental health and substance abuse care if you need it.

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Long-Term Care

Long-Term Care Resources

Long-Term Care (LTC) is a variety of services that include medical and non-medical care for people who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. 

If you are thinking about long-term care needs for you or your loved one, check out the following resources:

Long-Term Care Insurance 

Most health insurance plans and Medicare severely limit or exclude long-term care. Read the Guide to Long-term Care Insurance. You should consider these costs as you plan for retirement.

Here are some questions to ask when considering a separate long-term care insurance policy.

  • What qualifies you for benefits? Some insurers say you must be unable to perform a specific number of the following activities of daily living: eating, walking, getting from bed to a chair, dressing, bathing, using a toilet and remaining continent.
  • What type of care is covered? Does the policy cover nursing home care? What about coverage for assisted living facilities that provide less client care than a nursing home? If you want to stay in your home, will it pay for care provided by visiting nurses and therapists? What about help with food preparation and housecleaning?
  • What will the benefit amount be? Most plans are written to provide a specific dollar benefit per day. The benefit for home care is usually about half the nursing-home benefit. But some policies pay the same for both forms of care. Other plans pay only for your actual expenses.
  • What is the benefit period? It is possible to get a policy with lifetime benefits but this can be very expensive. Other options for coverage are from one to six years. The average nursing home stay is about 2.5 years.
  • Is the benefit adjusted for inflation? If you buy a policy prior to age 60, you face the risk that a fixed daily benefit will not be enough by the time you need it.
  • Is there a waiting period before benefits begin? A 20 to 100 day period is not unusual.

Complaints about Long-Term Care

To report an emergency where there is immediate danger, call 911 or contact your local authorities.

If you have a complaint about a long term-care facility, read about the long-term care ombudsman program, which investigates complaints.

If you have an elder abuse complaint, contact your long-term ombudsman or local elder abuse resources.

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