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SOURCE American Osteopathic Association
American Osteopathic Association Equips Patients with Tools to Find the Right Physician
LAS VEGAS, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New research released today by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) reveals that 1 in 3 adults have switched or dropped their primary care physician in the past five years and that having no health insurance is the most common reason for not seeing a physician. However, these trends may change as an estimated 30 million individuals are expected to gain access to health insurance plans when open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins on Oct. 1.
To help individuals and their families understand important questions to ask when searching for a physician, the AOA offers a variety of tips and access to resources for finding the right physician.
"Each of us is different when it comes to our medical care," emphasizes Jennifer N. Caudle, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician in Philadelphia. "Choosing a physician who meets your unique needs can have significant benefits to your overall, long-term health."
Dr. Caudle, an assistant professor in the department of family medicine at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, N.J., suggests that some initial questions to ask include:
A Personal Decision
The AOA's survey reveals that adults use a variety of criteria to narrow down their choice for a physician, but the most important factors when selecting a physician for themselves or a loved one are:
"Like seeking a mate you trust and feel comfortable with, finding Dr. Right is a highly personal decision," explains Valerie E. Goodman, DO, an osteopathic family physician at the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Centreville (Md.) Family Practice and an advocate for rural health care. "For some, especially those in rural areas, the ability to care for all members of the family-men, women, children and the elderly-or the distance from the physician's office to home or work, may be the most important factors in deciding which physician to choose."
The AOA's survey also looks at the tools most often used when finding a physician. The top five resources adults utilize when selecting a physician for themselves or a loved one are:
Finding Dr. Right Resources
To find more information about questions to ask when choosing a physician, details on access to health insurance coverage through programs under the Affordable Care Act, and searchable physician directories, visit www.osteopathic.org/FindingDrRight .
About the Survey
The AOA survey results are being announced during OMED 2013, the Osteopathic Medical Conference & Exposition. The conference, which begins Monday, Sept. 30, will be held through Friday, Oct. 4, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
The survey was conducted from Sept. 14 to Sept. 16, 2013. A total of 1,099 respondents completed the online survey. A sample size of 1,099 has a margin of error of approximately +/- 3.0% at the 95% confidence level.
About the American Osteopathic Association
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools; and has federal authority to accredit hospitals and other health care facilities. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at www.osteopathic.org.
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