In the old days, there was only a couple of ways to find a doctor: you either asked some friends or family members for recommendations or you simply picked one out of the phone book. Today, many people have considerable restrictions on which physician they can choose. Insurance companies have a limited number of physicians in their network and if you go outside of that network you can expect to pay exorbitant out-of-pocket costs. For most people, that simply isn’t an option.
Recently, some insurance companies have begun trying to help their customers out when it comes to finding the best physician. While many don’t trust their insurance company to help them find a doctor, it is one way to get some preliminary opinions. Some insurance companies have begun putting their physicians in a ranking system, a subject that has come under a great deal of criticism and scrutiny by health professionals. They argue that the insurance companies are judging by criteria that rewards physicians for things that may not matter to the average patient, such as low costs and efficiency. These rankings do more to help the insurance company’s bottom line than the patient’s.