Tips to Find a Doctor or Hospital

When you need to find a doctor or hospital, take the time to research your options. Follow these steps to help find a provider or medical facility that meets your needs.

1. Check Your Provider Network

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Start With a Search

Your health plan works with a group of doctors, specialists and health care facilities. This is known as your provider network. Search for providers to find out which doctors and hospitals are in your provider network.

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Log In for Optimal Results

For the most accurate results, register or log in to Blue Access for MembersSM (BAMSM), your secure member account. In BAM, you'll get personalized search results covered by your health plan.

2. Research and Narrow Your List

Go Online

Search online for articles and reports about the doctors and hospitals you are considering. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois provides a report to help you in your search — the Blue StarSM Medical Group/IPA Report that recognizes HMO contracting medical groups/Independent Practice Associations (IPAs) who provide quality patient care.

You can also log in to BAM to see ratings, reviews, awards and recognitions like:

  • The Joint Commission accreditation and certification. Recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality, this distinction reflects an organization's commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
  • Blue Distinction Centers®. These specialty care facilities have a proven track record for delivering results — like fewer complications and readmissions — than hospitals without this recognition.

Ask Questions

Contact the doctors or hospitals on your list and ask for more information that's important to your decision. To get started, here are some questions to ask a potential doctor:

  • What is your training and education?
  • How long have you been in practice?
  • Are you board-certified? (This requires specialty training.)

When researching a potential hospital or health care facility, you may want to consider:

  • Is it easy to get to for you and your loved ones who may want to visit?
  • Does it specialize in treating your health problem? If so, ask about their training and success in treating your health problem.
  • How many cases like yours are seen there each year? What are the results?
  • Does it provide the types of testing you will need?

Check for Complaints

Contact your state's department of insurance and see if the doctor or facility you are considering has had complaints filed against them.

3. Make Your Choice

After taking the steps above, you should have a pretty good idea of your appropriate option. Save your research, just in case you decide to switch to another doctor or hospital later. If you've done everything outlined here, chances are you've found the right provider for you!

Last Updated: Oct. 18, 2023