Value-Based Care

Choosing a Primary Care Provider

A primary care provider (PCP) is the doctor, physician, or nurse practitioner that is the primary medical expert an individual sees for non-emergency health concerns. Having a PCP is important because they will get to know the ins and outs of your health needs. Because this provider will be involved in your care for a long time, it’s important to select a PCP intentionally. We gathered this list of tips from doctors and individuals working in the medical field to help you find the PCP that’s right for you.
 
To learn more about the different types of primary care providers and which type is best for you, click here.

Finding Your Primary Care Provider

The first step in finding a PCP that’s right for you is checking with your insurance provider to see which PCP’s they cover. If you already have a PCP in mind, call their office to see if they take your insurance. Ask family and friends if they have a PCP they trust. You can also ask health professionals such as your dentist or pharmacist if they can refer you to a PCP.

 

Evaluating Primary Care Providers

Perform a Quality Check

There are many websites and resources you can use to do an official quality check on the provider you’re considering.

Call the Provider's Office in Advance

Once you find a PCP, cold call their office to see how their staff interacts with patients. Ask questions, and evaluate the level of patience and detail in their explanations. If it feels rushed, the provider might value getting patients in and out more than making patients feel comfortable.

Specialists

Is there an area you know you need special attention in, such as diabetes or heart disease? Ask the provider if they specialize in any areas. If one of their areas of specialty is a condition you are prone to, you might be on the right track.
 
Other areas of interest to consider might be whether they provide virtual appointments, telehealth services, or home visits.

Trust your Instinct

Remember, a PCP will play an important role in your life. Take your time in searching for someone you trust. If all the signs say yes but you still feel uncomfortable with the provider, keep looking. You have to be able to trust their judgment. If you need immediate care, seek non-emergency care from an urgent care center rather than going to a hospital. A hospital will often add on waiting times and unnecessary costs. Once you’re able, start looking for a primary care provider you can go to when future health problems come up.
 
For tips on how to make the most of your visits to a provider’s office, click here.
 
To learn more about the IntraCare Network and our physicians, click here.
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