Consumer Health Issues
How to Find The Best Primary Care Provider for You
Selecting the best Primary Care Provider (PCP) for your needs is something people don’t always think about – until they need one. The experts at the health care company Envolve, share tips to help you get your PCP in place:
- Research reviews. Not everything you read on the internet is fact. This is especially true within the medical community. Blogs, social media and independent online resources are not policed for accuracy. It’s important to use verified online resources when researching for medical care. Start with your health insurance plan’s website. This will ensure the PCP you choose is in your network and is a certified clinician.
- Seek opinions. Asking people you know and trust to recommend their favorite health care providers is a great way to get started with your research. If you have specific medical concerns or a diagnosis, make sure the PCP you choose either specializes in this area or has in-office resources to help you manage your condition.
- Look for continual care. How does your PCP handle after-hours health concerns? Who covers for him or her while they’re out of the office? Does your provider’s office offer access to a 24/7 nurse advice line? Having around-the-clock access to a clinical professional can provide peace of mind when something occurs outside standard business hours.
- Consider convenience. Is it easier for you to go to visit your PCP close to home or close to work? Take the office hours into consideration if you need later appointments. Also, look into convenience factors such as the ability to schedule appointments online or request a prescription refill without an appointment. If English is your second language or you’re caring for family members whose primary language is not English, finding providers who can speak in the needed native language can be important. Search local newspapers and websites for provider recommendations and editorial profiles of PCPs who fluently speak your preferred language and accommodate cultural practices that feel most comfortable to you.
- Go and see. Set a “get to know you” appointment with the provider to find out more about his or her medical philosophy. During the appointment, get familiar with her or his beliefs regarding antibiotics, immunizations and referrals for specialty care. Is there another provider who is available should your preferred PCP be unavailable? Assess the office itself. Is it clean and comfortable? Is the staff helpful? Taking this step helps ensure the PCP you select aligns with your preferences.
Envolve, Inc.® is a company of health solutions, unifying vision, dental, behavioral health management, health/wellness management, education services, telehealth services and 24/7 nurse advice services. For more information, please visit their website, www.envolvehealth.com.