If there’s one thing you can do to empower yourself is to find the right primary care provider or a PCP. According to a recent survey, more than a third of the American population lacks a PCP. What’s more surprising is, under half of the millennial population go without one. Having a Primary Care Provider is perhaps one of the most important relationships when it comes to your health and well-being.
Unlike the traditional family doctor, your PCP is more than just a doctor; overtime, he or she will learn your personality, medical history, lifestyle, reaction to a medication, and treatment preferences. According to medical studies, these intimate relationships make quite the difference in patient’s health; it’s also been discovered to improve the risk of dying from heart disease, strokes and cancer. Members with a primary care physician also benefit from coordinated care and positive health care experience.
Picking out the right primary care provider can be challenging, and especially if you have changed locations or you are looking to join another community. It might not be a good idea to pick out a name from your phonebook or a list provided by your insurance. Instead, you might want to take your time to research your options. The following are a few tips to get you started:
Depending on your health plan contract, you will have a list of specific hospitals and doctors. You are likely to pay much less if you choose from the provided list of in-network providers for insurance purposes. You can easily find out if your provider is in-network by getting in touch with your health pan or contacting your provider’s office.
Asking for recommendations from close friends, family, and co-workers is a good way to start. However, you will still need to decide which health provider is best suited for your health concerns. In case someone you respect and trust has a positive experience with a doctor, you will likely appreciate their services.
There are different types of PCPs to pick from. Family practice doctors specialize in treating the entire family. Pediatricians treat infants, children and teenagers. In case you have a condition such as diabetes, you may want to choose a primary care provider with experience managing your conditions.
Traveling for an hour to see a doctor you can trust might not seem like a big deal. However, when you are very sick, it can be overwhelming. Location matters when it comes to your health, and you never want to underestimate convenience. It makes a huge difference to have a doctor close to where you work or live and one that has office hours that fit in your schedule. Find out of the clinic offers an online system for scheduling appointments, communicating with your healthcare team, requesting prescription refills as well as accessing your records online.
A face to face visit to your potential provider’s office will go along way in helping you make sure you are comfortable with your final choice. Do you like the location, staff, nurses, and the physician? Do you feel comfortable with the provider, do they seem committed to managing conditions chronic or mild you may have?
Dr. Socrates Perez offers a full range of services for all your healthcare needs. Unlike any medicare center, we take a personalized approach with our patients that focuses on accurate and quick diagnosis for an effective treatment regimen. We are also independent and not under a large HMO or multispecialty group which allows for an efficient patient-physician rapport and enough room to cater to our patient’s individual needs.