How to Choose A Hospital

how to choose a hospital

So, how do you choose a hospital that’s right for you? Depending on where you live, you might have a few hospitals to choose from, have only one in town or, in some rural areas, you have to drive out of town to get to one. If you don’t have a hospital of preference and need to choose, there are some guidelines to follow when making your decision.

Is the hospital accredited for safety and quality?

Check with the hospital to see if it is accredited. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) is a non-profit that accredits 21,000 hospitals in the U.S. Most states require JCAHO accreditation as a condition for receiving licensure for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements. Doctor’s offices, nursing homes, surgery centers, home care services and behavioral health treatment facilities can also be accredited. When a hospital is accredited, it means that it has been surveyed and reviewed and found to meet select quality and safety standards.

How is the hospital rated by your state or consumer groups?

Some states require by law that hospitals report quality of care data, which is then provided to the public. Performance information is also gathered by professional and consumer groups. Check online to see what is available for review in your area.

Where does your doctor have privileges to admit patients?

If you have a physician you want to stay with, find out where he or she can admit patients. Where your doctor and health plan allow you to be served will determine what hospital you will use.

Is the hospital covered by your health plan?

An important aspect when determining how to choose a hospital is what your insurance covers. A health plan often dictates where you can be served in order for you to receive full benefits.

Does the hospital have successful experience with your health condition?

If you have a particular health condition, you’ll want to find out if a hospital has experience and success in its treatment. Besides a general hospital, you may want your physician to have access to specialty facilities. For particular procedures, ask your doctor or the hospital for information on how often the procedure is performed, how often the doctor has done the procedure and how good patient outcomes are.

To find out more vital information about hospitals and consumer information these sources:

American Hospital Association

Your selection of a physician and hospital is often influenced by the health insurance coverage you choose. Learn more about your options at the EINSURANCE health insurance online tool.

About Barbara Howington

In a 40-year career that began as editor for a college public affairs department, Barbara has been an instructional media script writer, public relations director, marketing manager, account manager, and co-owner of a graphic design, marketing and public relations firm. For the past several years, she has funneled her knowledge and insight into copywriting, her favorite part of every professional position she’s held.