Where do you turn when you have a persistent cough, a rash, pain, or fever that just won’t go away? Many people turn to an urgent care center or go to the emergency department. But the best option for better long-term health – and smaller medical bill – is having a trusted primary care provider.
Primary care providers (PCP) are intended to be the “go-to” resource for your health care needs. Whether your primary care provider is a physician or an advance practice clinician (physician assistant or nurse practitioner), a PCP can help manage day-to-day medical needs, offer health advice and education, and coordinate preventative screenings, referrals to specialists or hospital care, if needed.
Primary care providers have training in a wide variety of health conditions so they can provide treatment and preventative care for patients. They also provide lifestyle advice to improve your health. Research shows that patients who see their PCP regularly are generally healthier and experience fewer preventable diseases.
Having a “go-to” primary care provider can also lighten the impact on your wallet. Office co-pays at a primary care office are lower than at an urgent care or emergency room, and ongoing preventative care should lessen the number of visits needed to address health issues.
Not sure how to find a primary care provider? Follow these five tips to find the right PCP for you:
- Start by reviewing providers who are included in your health insurance network
- Consider if the office location is convenient to your home or workplace
- Find out if the PCP offers in-person and telehealth visits
- Consider recommendations from family members or friends
- Get information about the providers philosophy of care, and select a PCP that you feel will care about your health
If you don’t already have a primary care provider, the new year offers the perfect time to establish a relationship. Start by visiting the UofL Health – UofL Physicians website and consider one of our outstanding primary care providers.