Health centers play an important role in providing primary care and preventive services to many people. By providing these services, community health centers such as Partida Corona Medical Center help keep people healthy and avoid unnecessary emergency room visits.
However, different centers give different levels of care depending on their resources and design. Therefore, selecting a health center is important to get the right level of care. Here are factors to consider when choosing a health center.
It is important to choose a community health center that is located near your home or workplace. That way, you can easily go for checkups and screenings in between work/school schedules without spending much time getting there. Health centers are more likely to be visited by clients who live nearby since it means less time and money spent traveling.
If you need to see a specialist, it would be best if the health center provides this service as well or can refer you to another provider who has that specialty available in their list of providers/referral network so there will not be delays in your treatment.
Patient volume and wait times
Health centers with high patient volume will have a higher chance of having more specialists available on-site to help you get faster care and avoid unnecessary delays in your treatment, especially if they are busy or their schedules are fully booked during the weekdays/weekends that can lead to longer wait times for clients.
Service standards and quality of care
Health centers that have their own standards on providing services (such as treatment protocols, infection control practices) will ensure the quality of care is up to standard, giving you more assurance about your health condition during check-up screenings.
Cost of care and billing processes
Some health centers do not accept insurance or have a complicated billing process which can lead to a longer wait time for reimbursement if you are using your own private insurances, while others may require co-pays on certain services that might be costly depending on the amount of care they require.
Patient reviews and recommendations
It is important to ask around and see what other people have experienced when they get care at a particular health center. It will give you more insight into whether the provider or staff are professional, if there were issues about billing/reimbursement that can be avoided in your case due to different insurance plans with similar deductibles, or if there were any delays in your treatment that can be avoided.
Professionalism of provider and staff
It is important to choose a health center that has professional staff who are friendly, attentive, knowledgeable in their field of expertise. They should be able to answer all your questions without having you wait too long for an appointment when they are busy with other patients or during check-in time and during your visit. They should also communicate effectively with you and the rest of their team to make sure all information is shared between them, which can help avoid mistakes or delays in treatment if there are follow-ups needed for specific tests/procedures that need a specialist’s attention.
Health centers that are accredited by a professional accrediting body such as The Joint Commission or Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) mean they have met the standards set for the quality of care and effective delivery of customer service.
A health center that accepts the insurance you have is important to know since that can help in reducing your co-payments on certain services available at their centers. Also, they should be able to process claims timely so there will not be any delays with reimbursement or denials due to lack of information or missing/incomplete paperwork.
Availability of lab and radiology services on site
Some health centers cannot provide these services, which may lead to additional tests at other labs if the tests need a specialist’s review before results can be released to your provider.
The factors listed above are just some of the things you can look for when choosing a community health center that suits your needs. You may also look up the health centers on their website or call them directly to ask more questions about what they can offer and see if it will meet your needs.