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What to know when choosing health care providers

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(StatePoint) Nothing is more important than the health of your family. So when it comes to selecting the right heath care providers, it is vital to do careful research and come up with the right choices for you and your loved ones.

When it comes to selecting a doctor, most of us are very particular and know what to look for. Things aren’t necessarily so clear when it comes to selecting other types of health practitioners, such as health care providers, rehab facilities, long-term care facilities and others.

“It’s always important to equip yourself with some background knowledge and to use it to ask plenty of questions of any potential health provider or facility that will be treating you or a family member,” says Paul Grace, president and CEO of the non-profit National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT).

The experts at the NBCOT recommend these tips as you search for a certified health care provider:

• Ask if he or she is certified, and if so, by what board or authority. Certification and accreditation are designed to ensure that health professionals are qualified, capable, and prepared to perform the required services.

• Request documentation to confirm certification.

• Question the provider about his or her level of education, training and experience in the desired field.

• Inquire about any specialty certifications or other skills that might apply to your needs.

• Ask for references and perform independent research to determine suitability to provide the care.

Finding the right rehabilitation or long-term care facility in the event of an injury or ailment is just as important as finding a health care provider. Always make sure facilities provide evidence that they are qualified to perform designated clinical activities and have met certain quality standards.

• Ask management if the facility is currently accredited, and if so, by what board or authority.

• Ask to see relevant documentation to confirm its commitment to excellence and evaluation.

• Ask about how the quality of care is measured and monitored by the facility.

• Check the benchmarks by which the facility is compared to on the regional and national level.

• Review client satisfaction surveys and perform independent research on each potential facility.

When it comes to the health of your family, you don’t want to cut any corners. Make sure you cover all bases and provide your family with the care they deserve.

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