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Doctor with patientsIt may surprise you, but 28% of American men and 17% of American women don’t have primary care physicians (PCPs). They might only visit an urgent care or the emergency room when they get sick.

Still, the PCP should play an important part of every American’s health and wellness plan. If you haven’t got one, take the steps in 2018 to establish care with a PCP.

What is a Primary Care Doctor?

PCPs are doctors who provide the first point of contact for any person who needs medical care. Furthermore, these doctors continue to monitor patients over time. They eventually compile a comprehensive record of your health. Think of your PCP as the doctor you call when you get sick or who you see for your annual checkup.

These physicians are often valuable assets to their patients. Because they know their patients’ histories, they can often target care when someone needs it. They are also likely to know when a patient needs specialized medical care. Since PCPs become familiar with their patients, patients usually trust them to manage their care.

Seeking a PCP: Check Your Insurance First

It’s so important that everyone seeks the care of a PCP if they can. However, before you get a PCP, you have to do your research.

Just because you have health insurance doesn’t mean you have a free card to see a PCP. Therefore, before you seek care, check with your insurer. Most health insurers will cover a PCP’s services. However, patients often have to seek a PCP who accepts their insurance plan as payment. Insurance companies usually refer to these doctors as in-network physicians. If you don’t see a physician in your network, you might have less insurance coverage for your visit, or even none at all.

Choose a Physician Who Meets Your Needs

After you choose an in-network PCP, you still have work to do. Make sure the physician meets your satisfaction.

  • The doctor should be able to treat you effectively. Choose a provider who has a background in your medical needs. If you need specialist care, you may have to see a certain provider.
  • A PCP should offer convenience to you. Most people select physicians who practice close to where they live and whose hours match their needs.
  • Most importantly, your PCP should make you feel comfortable in their care. The most important thing is that you trust your doctor. So, if you don’t feel you can be honest or open with your provider, it might be a good idea to look for another doctor.

If you have more questions about health insurance or seeking a PCP, then let us help. Call our agency with questions about your Pennsylvania health insurance.

 

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3 Comments

Derek Dewitt said...
My wife and I recently moved to a new town, so we are looking for a new doctor in the area to start visiting with the kids. I like that you suggest choosing a doctor that is convenient to you and whose hours match your needs. Well be sure to find someone that is local and can see us on weekends. Thanks for sharing. http://www.northwoodsfamilyortho.com/our-staff
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 2018 7:46 AM
Taylor Bishop said...
Thanks for going over some tips for finding a primary care doctor. Im glad that you mentioned That you should see if the PCP accepts your insurance plan. It seems like its important to ask them or to maybe see if you can get a referral of some kind to know who you should ask. http://advmednaples.com/features/family-practice-in-naples/
TUESDAY, MARCH 06 2018 8:52 AM
Duncan Lance said...
I do like that you recommend checking out your insurance before you look for a primary care doctor. After all, it is very likely that youll be using your insurance to pay the physician. Because of this, it helps to talk to your insurance company to find out which local doctors accept your coverage. http://www.propartnershealthcare.com/
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 04 2018 1:50 AM

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