Whether you are a sole individual or a family, access to healthcare is essential. As a result, you should have a designated primary care physician you can visit when you have health issues.
Primary care physicians provide general health care services such as:
- Regular checkups and screenings
- Preventative healthcare
- Treating minor wounds
- Continuous treatment of long-term ailments such as diabetes
However, you can't pick the first primary care physician you find. Hence, there are several factors you need to consider before choosing a primary care physician or your family. Here are the three most important factors to consider when choosing a primary care physician.
1. Health Plan Network
If you plan to use your health insurance to pay for treatments, you should check if a potential primary care physician is in your health plan's network. A health plan network consists of several healthcare providers who have agreed to receive payments from your health insurance provider.
If you pick a primary care physician not included in your health plan network, you can't use your health insurance to pay for medical treatments. So you will have to cover the total cost of your treatment out of pocket. But if you choose a primary care physician in your health plan's network, you only have to pay the deductible out of pocket. Once you pay the deductible, your health insurance covers the rest of the treatment costs.
Thus, it is more affordable to pick a primary care physician who is part of your health plan's network.
2. Physician's Specialty
Though primary care physicians receive the same training, most opt to specialize in treating one group of people. For instance, there are primary care physicians who only treat children, whereas there are others who only treat adults. But if you are looking for a primary care physician for your family, it doesn't make sense to visit one physician and take your children to another. Hence, it would be beneficial for you to pick a primary care physician specializing in family medicine.
Family medicine physicians provide healthcare to persons of all ages. Hence, your entire family can get their medical needs sorted by the same family medicine physician. Furthermore, going to one physician ensures that your whole family's medical history remains under one roof, thus making it easier for the physician to keep track of your family's health.
3. Hours of Operations
When choosing a primary care physician, you never know when you might need their services. Hence, checking their operating hours is advisable. Besides, you might need to see your physician at night for an emergency.
Most primary care physicians work regular 9-5 hour days, but some operate 24 hours a day or extend their work hours till late in the evening. Choosing a 24-hour primary care physician would be great in case of a medical emergency in the middle of the night.
For more information, reach out to a primary care physician near you.