What to Know When Choosing a Health Care Provider

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Story Updated: Jan 16, 2013

(NewsUSA) - Consumers are more concerned than ever about making the right health care decisions, yet a national study from Healthgrades suggests that people actually spend more time researching their refrigerator purchase than their health care provider.

"When people aren't properly informed, they tend to choose convenience over quality," explains Dr. Archelle Georgiou, "Instead of using objective measures of performance such as mortality and complication rates, patients select providers who are covered under their insurance and located close to them. Unfortunately, this approach often results in dissatisfaction and poor outcomes."

According to Dr. Georgiou, there are three primary reasons why many patients fail to find a quality health care provider: 1. They are unaware that objective performance information is available; 2. They have a misperception that their insurance doesn't offer a choice; 3. They confuse convenience and quality.

However, patients do not have to remain uninformed or misguided. Nearly 90 percent of those surveyed by Healthgrades agreed they would be able to make better choices regarding their health care if they knew more about doctors' and hospitals' quality outcomes.

To better equip Americans to make suitable choices about their health care, Healthgrades published the American Hospital Quality Outcomes 2013, which examines how some 4,500 hospitals across the country compare to each other. The report uses risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates to evaluate the care for 30 of the most common conditions and procedures. Hospitals that perform above average receive five stars; those that perform below average get one star.

Georgiou believes, patients should evaluate similar factors when selecting doctors, too. "Patients must decide whether the doctor is the right doctor for them," Georgiou says. "Is the doctor board-certified? What is their sub-specialty? Have they done surgeries just like this one? Do they have excessive numbers of malpractice cases? How do patients rate their experience with them? "

If you need help finding qualified physicians and high-performing hospitals in your community, go to www.healthgrades.com. The site will identify local specialists with information on their qualifications, hospital affiliations and patient experience survey results.

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Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

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NYS Veterans' Home at Oxford

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a 242 bed facility located in Chenango County about thirty miles north of Binghamton NY. Situated on a sixty acre site, the Home has spectacular scenic views of rural countryland. We provide state of the art medical, nursing, psychosocial, and rehabilitative services to our residents. We also have several academic affiliations including the Upstate Medical Center College of Medicine/Clinical Campus at Binghamton.

About Us
The New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford is a long term care skilled nursing facility. We are located in Oxford NY, and we serve the Central New York Region. We provide care for veterans and their dependents. Our current building has 242 beds in seven different units, including our rehabilitation unit and our dementia unit. Our facility is clean and pleasant, and our staff is friendly and professional. We welcome you to a guided tour upon request!

Dr. Dzwonczyk – Medical Director

Dr. Dzwonczyk Receives Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Philip J. Dzwonczyk, MD has been certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Dzwonczyk joins more than nineteen hundred fellow physicians to have achieved such certification.

Hospice and palliative medicine is the medical discipline of the broad therapeutic model known as hospice and palliative care. The discipline and model of care are devoted to achieving the best possible quality of life for the patient and family throughout the course of a life-threatening illness through the relief of suffering and the control of symptoms. Hospice and palliative medicine helps the patient and family face the prospect of death assured that comfort will be a priority, values and decisions will be respected, spiritual and psychosocial needs will be addressed, practical support will be available and opportunities will exist for growth and development. Hospice in the United States is an organized program that provides palliative care for terminally ill patients and supportive services to patients, their families, and significant others.

Dr. Dzwonczyk is the medical director of the New York State Veterans Home in Oxford. He recently completed the Harvard Medical School Program in Palliative Care Education and Practice and has worked for many years as an internist and geriatrician practicing in central New York. Dr. Dzwonczyk received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and his doctor of medicine degree from Jefferson Medical College. He trained in internal medicine and psychiatry at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and holds specialty certificates in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. He has achieved Certified Medical Director status from the American Medical Directors Association and is a Fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Dzwonczyk has directed the medical care of patients at the New York State Veterans Home since 1993 and has been active as a medical educator. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Upstate Medical University and is active as a member of the faculty of the Geriatric Medicine Clerkship of the Clinical Campus in Binghamton. In addition to his interest in palliative care, Dr. Dzwonczyk has an interest in the evaluation and management of cognitive and mood disorders of the elderly.

The American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine was formed in 1995 to establish and measure the level of knowledge, attitudes and skills required for certification of physicians practicing hospice and palliative medicine. Eligibility requirements for certification are significant. In order to be eligible to sit for the certifying examination, applicants must have received prior major specialty certification, practiced at least two years following residency, worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team for at least two years and have directly participated in the active care of at least fifty terminally ill patients in the preceding three years. Alternatively, applicants must have completed specialty fellowship training in palliative medicine. The fellowship training program must be at least one year in length and must meet the established voluntary standards for such a program.

ABHPM conducts its Certification Examination in Hospice and Palliative Medicine annually at multiple sites through the United States. Currently, 1908 physicians have been certified by virtue of meeting certification requirements, including successful completion of this examination. A listing of currently certified physicians may be viewed on the Boards website at www.ABHPM.org.

Information on the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine may be obtained from the website at www.ABHPM.org or by call (301) 439-8001.

Welcome to New York State Veterans' Home at Oxford