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Find a PCP who can deliver quality and effective care

Written by Aetna By Arthur McGill, M.D.

Finding an in-network primary care physician (PCP) you feel comfortable with can seem overwhelming. Your PCP plays a critical role in your care. As the first point of contact for your care, your PCP treats you when you’re sick and refers you to a specialist if you need one.

But the real benefit of this relationship comes over time as your PCP gets to know you, the nuances of your medical history and your health goals. With this holistic view of your health, your PCP can have a real impact. Research shows that people with a PCP are more likely to get preventive services, such as flu shots, blood pressure screenings and cancer screenings. Such care allows you to catch potential issues early and treat them much more easily.

With so many options out there, it can be difficult to assess the kind of care each one provides. If you’re an Aetna® member, Aetna Smart Compare can narrow your choices and help you find your match.

What is Aetna Smart Compare?

Aetna Smart Compare* is a new designation that identifies physicians and other providers within the Aetna network, including PCPs, internists and pediatricians, who provide high-quality and effective care based on recognized industry measures. There are two labels: “Quality Care” and “Effective Care.” A PCP can receive one or both of these labels.

There are good reasons to consider using these labels when looking for a new PCP. First, they simplify your search by easily identifying PCPs who are among the best of the bunch in terms of quality and effectiveness. In addition, the labels give you an idea of how the doctor typically handles health concerns and issues.

Unlike online reviews from patients, Aetna Smart Compare designations are rooted in data. This difference can be meaningful. After all, knowing that your PCP has a proven track record of delivering high-quality or efficient care can help you feel more confident in choosing them and more likely to trust the advice they give you.

How to use Aetna Smart Compare

Log into your member website at Find Care to start your search for a PCP. You can also search on the Aetna Health℠ app. Look for the Aetna Smart Compare designation to identify PCPs who have met higher standards of care.

The “Quality Care” label recognizes PCPs who consistently demonstrate a higher standard of quality for their patients. This may include helping patients manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes, and ensuring they're getting screenings, treatment and preventive care when they should.

The “Effective Care” label recognizes PCPs who efficiently treat their patients, manage costs and reduce complications. For example, these PCPs may work with a patient’s other doctors to coordinate care, which can help prevent unnecessary tests, lower medical costs and improve health outcomes.

Currently, Aetna Smart Compare can only be accessed by members who receive insurance through an employer. It’s not available for PCPs located in Arizona, California, Maryland, New York or Texas.

While Aetna Smart Compare labels provide insight into a PCP’s approach to care, they only tell part of the story. You may also want to consider other factors, such as location of the doctor’s office, their hours, whether they're in-network and recommendations from friends and family.

Finding a PCP you can trust may take some time, but having a partner in your health journey is worth the effort. If you're an Aetna member, Aetna Smart Compare designations can help focus your search so you can more easily find the PCP who’s right for you.

Browse the guides below for a full view of our measurement criteria and how we choose physicians.

Primary care physician measurement methodology

Primary care physician designation guide

* The Aetna Smart Compare designation is only a guide to help you choose a physician who is right for you. There is no requirement or effect on your plan or benefits whether you see a designated provider or not.

For Aetna Members

Looking for a PCP? Aetna Smart Compare can help.