Helpful Tips

This section has helpful tips and answers to common questions.

All physicians and other healthcare professionals listed on Physician Compare accept Medicare. To search the site:

  • Choose either the “Find Physicians and Other Healthcare Professionals” tab or the “Find Group Practices” tab on the homepage
  • Enter your zip code, city and state, exact address, or a landmark in the location field
  • Enter a search term in the “What are you searching for?” box, such as
    • Specialty (e.g. cardiology)
    • Medical condition (e.g. diabetes)
    • Organ or organ system (e.g. heart)
    • Last name of a professional (e.g. Murphy, if you are searching for Dr. Ann Murphy), or the name a group practice, if you are searching for group practices

Suggestions will appear in the drop-down box under the search field. Select what best meets your needs and then select “Search”.

You will see a list of professionals that meet your search criteria. You can find more help using the website by visiting the Help page. For additional help finding a Medicare doctor, you can also call 1-800-MEDICARE.

All physicians and other healthcare professionals listed on Physician Compare treat Medicare patients, but not all Medicare professionals accept Medicare Assignment. Medicare Assignment is related to how a doctor bills you and Medicare. If a doctor accepts Medicare Assignment, the doctor accepts the payment amount Medicare approves and will not bill you for any more than the Medicare deductible and coinsurance. If Physician Compare shows that a doctor may accept Medicare Assignment, you should call and check to be sure how the doctor bills Medicare patients.

There are a number of reasons why a Medicare doctor may not show up on the website. Physicians and other healthcare professionals are listed on the site based on information they enter into the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS). If key pieces of information, such as their location or specialty, are not entered into this system, we can’t include them on the website. We do apologize for this inconvenience.

You can send us the name of your doctor, their location, and their specialty, and we can look into why your doctor is not showing up on the site. E-mail us at PhysicianCompare@Westat.com. - opens in a new window

Some types of doctors may not be located close to you, but it is unlikely that there are no Medicare doctors in your area. Please check your search terms to make sure that there were no errors, and try your search again. If you are not able to find what you are looking for on the site, please call 1-800-MEDICARE and they will be happy to help you find a Medicare doctor in your area.

For a demonstration of key features and to see how the site works, watch this video - opens in a new window. You can also visit the Help section for more information. If you are still having trouble, or think you have found a possible problem with the site, please e-mail us at PhysicianCompare@Westat.com. - opens in a new window In your email, tell us the problem you are having, the web browser you are using, and whether or not you are using the site through your MyMedicare account. We will do our best to investigate this for you.

We did recently work to fix a known problem with MyMedicare favorites. If you are still having trouble using the site, please e-mail us at PhysicianCompare@Westat.com. - opens in a new window and give us as much information about the issue as possible so that we can work to research the problem and resolve it.

Physician Compare lists information about physicians and other healthcare professionals who see Medicare patients. For information on hospitals, please visit Hospital Compare - opens in a new window. For more information on Medicare, please visit the Medicare website. - opens in a new window

Physician Compare lists information about physicians and other healthcare professionals who see Medicare patients. For information on nursing homes, please visit Nursing Home Compare - opens in a new window. For more information on Medicare, please visit the Medicare website - opens in a new window.

Physician Compare lists information about physicians and other healthcare professionals who see Medicare patients. For information on home health agencies, please visit Home Health Compare - opens in a new window. For more information on Medicare, please visit the Medicare website - opens in a new window.

Physician Compare lists information about physicians and other healthcare professionals who see Medicare patients. For information on dialysis facilities, please visit Dialysis Facility Compare - opens in a new window. For more information on Medicare, please visit the Medicare website - opens in a new window.

Physician Compare lists information about physicians and other healthcare professionals who see Medicare patients. For information on Medicare health plans, please visit Medicare Plan Finder - opens in a new window. For more information on Medicare, please visit the Medicare website - opens in a new window.

To have a list of physicians and/or other healthcare professionals made for you, please call 1-800-MEDICARE.

A downloadable database of information currently on Physician Compare is now available on https://data.medicare.gov/ - opens in a new window. Please note that not all of the information currently on the site is included due to limitations of certain data use agreements. For more information, read the supporting documentation available on the Physician Compare page of https://data.medicare.gov/ - opens in a new window.

The main source of the information for Physician Compare is the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS). When an individual or group enrolls in Medicare, they enroll through PECOS. Therefore, the information in PECOS is provided by the individuals and groups themselves. Data fields that are not from PECOS are supplied by a CMS contractor.

Physician Compare launched a full redesign in June 2013. To learn more about the redesign, view this video - opens in a new window. In general, improvements are made to the site every few months. The information on Physician Compare is updated every 4 to 6 weeks.

The site does not have a “compare” function for individual physicians and other healthcare professionals yet. The site does include general information, which is provided by the physicians themselves. If information is not included on the site it is because the physician has not made the information available.

Right now you can compare group practices. For more information about how to do this, please visit the Help section.

We are working to continue to build the site and add more information to help you make informed healthcare decisions. Although comparing group practices is currently limited to general information, in 2014 quality ratings will be added.

Physician Compare will include quality ratings for group practices and Accountable Care Organizations ( ACOs ) starting in 2014. Physician Compare now lists information about individuals and groups who participate in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) quality programs. For more information, please visit About the Data.

Please send your feedback to PhysicianCompare@Westat.com - opens in a new window. Your feedback is very important to us. Your thoughts will help us make sure the site is both user-friendly and helpful. We welcome all comments, questions, or concerns regarding Physician Compare. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please visit the CMS.gov Physician Compare Initiative Page - opens in a new window for information about how to update your listing, address questions or problems, and find out more about topics of interest for physicians and other healthcare professionals who appear on Physician Compare.