The federal government provides a number of resources for seniors who are looking for a health care provider, including a physician finder and comparison tool on the website of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Medicare.gov. The American Medical Association provides a physician-finder tool on its website as well.
Both the AMA website and Medicare.gov provide a search engine that lets the user find doctors by location and specialty. The CMS also provides additional information about each physician, including where he went to medical school, when he graduated and the specialties in which he is board-certified. It also shows hospital affiliations and indicates whether the physician accepts Medicare assignment, an important consideration for Medicare-eligible seniors.
The website USA.gov offers a great deal of information about finding physicians and hospitals and what to look for when searching for a doctor. It also contains links to other resources, including the American Board of Medical Specialties, which provides a physician look-up feature that indicates whether or not a doctor is board certified.
Another helpful resource for seniors who are having trouble navigating the health care system is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP. SHIP is an independent agency that guides seniors through the maze of Medicare programs, helping them find insurance that gives the optimal access to the care and providers they need. Its website, Seniors Resource Guide.com provides phone numbers for and links to the websites of SHIP offices across the United States.