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Making Provider Choices in Managed Care

How to make the wise choice in a primary care physician.

Personality Counts

In selecting a PCP, you should consider how well he or she communicates with you. Ray Werntz, president of the Consumer Health Education Council in Washington, thinks openness is the base of a good doctor-patient relationship.

"Consumers can go online when selecting a PCP and find out where that doctor graduated from medical school or how they did academically, but the PCP who listens well may be much better than the one who graduated at the top of the class," he says. "What happens between the doctor and patient isn't always medical. It's also about relationships."

Werntz believes that whenever a patient is denied access to the doctor he or she wants, frustration and mistrust in the entire system is sure to follow. "That's why consumer demand for choice is so huge," he says.

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