Choosing a Provider of Any Type

Asking questions can help you make an informed decision when choosing a healthcare provider. It is important to find out the answers to these questions before scheduling an appointment so you know what to expect. Below are some suggestions of questions that can help you find out whether a provider is a good fit for you and your family. You will most likely have more questions of your own. Make sure to make a list of the ones that are important to you when calling or contacting the provider.

Questions for All Provider Types

Hours
  • What are your hours of operation?
  • Do you have appointments available after-hours?
  • Is help available for on-call or emergency services?
Payment and Billing
  • Do you accept ________insurance? (fill in the name of your insurance company)
  • Do you allow a sliding payment scale for those without insurance?
  • Do you have a cash discount?
  • Do you accept payments over a period of time?
  • Do you have charity care or third-party payment plans?
  • Do you accept Medicaid?
  • Is co-payment due at the time of service?
  • What is the average cost per visit?
Language
  • Are translation services available if needed? (Agencies receiving federal funding are required to offer translation for Medicaid patients.)
  • Is there someone on your staff who is fluent in a language besides English? (If so, what languages?)
Transport/Getting There
  • Do you provide transportation services?
  • How close to the bus/train stop is your office or facility?
  • Which bus stop is closest to your office or facility?
Facility
  • Is your facility wheelchair accessible?
  • Are the rooms able to accommodate a wheelchair?
  • How do you weigh a child in a wheelchair?
  • What kind of bathroom facilities do you offer for a disabled and/or older child with incontinence?
Clinic Practices and Policies
  • What do you do to help the child be less likely to get illnesses from other children who are sick?
  • Do you have separate areas for both well children and sick children?
  • It usually takes more time to treat a person with complex illnesses, are you able to accommodate that?
  • Does your practice have rules or guidelines about parent participation and observation?
  • Are siblings or other family members welcome during sessions?
  • What age ranges do you serve? (i.e., do you specialize in pediatrics/school-age or adolescents, etc.)
  • How will you handle the transition of my child as they grow and eventually become an adult?
  • Do you have equipment to work with children?
  • How much of your business is children-based?
Experience
  • What experiences have you had with (insert diagnosis)?
  • What is your comfort level in working with (insert diagnosis)?
  • What are your degree and certifications, and from what issuing institutions?

Authors & Reviewers

Last update/revision: August 2019
Current Authors and Reviewers:
Reviewer: Mindy Tueller, MS
Funding: Thanks to the 2013-14 Portal Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (URLEND) Trainee group for their effort on this project.