How to Get the Most Out of Your Dr. Appointment

We here at NeuroSpine Institute know that it’s more than a little unnerving to go see a doctor about something as critical as a neck, spine or back condition, especially when you are experiencing a great deal of pain.  We’ve developed a list of suggestions; things you can do to get the most out of your doctor’s appointment.

Research the Doctor

Individuals may choose a doctor because of location, insurance or even the doctor’s sense of humor.  It’s important to find a doctor with whom you feel comfortable.  This person is a teammate in your health.  Maintaining your body requires similar planning to that of finances.  A financial advisor is looking out for your interests now, and for years down the road.  Find a doctor who can coach you to good health for a lifetime.   Ask friends about their experiences.

Check with your Insurance

Check with your insurance carrier to make sure your specialist is in the network.  If not, check with the insurer and doctor’soffice to understand costs associated with a provider out of the network.

Schedule

If you’re going to see the doctor for a major concern (symptoms that have persisted, or not been resolved with treatment), let the scheduler know.  Otherwise, you might be put into a 10 minute slot that won’t permit enough time for the complex issue.

Write Down Questions

Write down your questions and goals. This helps you stay on target. You can squeeze a lot more information out of a 10 minute visit by knowing what you want to cover.

Bring Test Results

Even if you think the doctor’s office has your information, already, if you have record of any labs or tests that might offer insight, any new medications that you are taking, bring them along (CD of images and chart notes).

Be on Time

If this is a new doctor for you, make sure you have directions and enough time to get to the office. Try to arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment to fill out paperwork. Our offices will reschedule a patient if they are 15 minutes late.  Click here for directions to our Eugene & Roseburg offices.

Bring your Paperwork

Insurance Card, Picture ID, and any paperwork that you were asked to fill out in advance of your appointment.  The office should always have an updated copy of your current health insurance card.  Also, if you are a new patient, you were sent paperwork for the doctor to examine, in identifying your health issue.  Bring that paperwork with you.

Ask About Treatments

If it’s unclear, always ask about the side effects, risks and benefits of a treatment. If you have any concerns about a potential therapy, share this with the doctor. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t understand a treatment, or its risks.

Stay on Target

If you’ve been suffering for some time, you’ll have a lot to tell the doctor. Emotions might arise while discussing your symptoms. It’s OK. Just remember, you still have to convey your medical history in an efficient manner. If you spend a lot of time revisiting a toe injury from high school, but are there because of heart disease, the doctor could run out of time.

Ask About Insurance Coverage

After your appointment and before you approve a treatment, call your insurance company and find out, if that treatment is covered by your insurance. You may not always get a definite answer, but the insurer may be able to direct you to other options, such as a lab or x-ray facility that are contracted with your program or carrier. This could help save you money and stress.

Get Copies of Results

Ask for copies of your lab results at your visit. This way, you can keep an accurate health history.  The doctors at NeuroSpine Institute have.

Relax and Get Your Life Back

The doctors at NeuroSpine Institute have years of experience, have seen cases similar to yours before and have experience in successfully giving patients back their lives.