Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a primary care physician?
Simply put, seeing a primary care physician keeps you healthier. They
get to know you, your history and your family health history. Plus, researchers
have found that adults with primary care were much more likely to fill
prescriptions and to have a routine preventive visit in the past year.
And they were also significantly more likely to get preventive screenings,
like mammograms and cancer screenings.
Do I need to see my primary care physician often?
It depends on several factors, including your age, risk for disease (possibly
there is family history for one), and if you have any chronic conditions,
like diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. It’s best
to talk to a primary care doctor about your situation, and together you
can come up with the best plan.
What do I need to discuss with my primary care physician?
Your primary care doctor should be your first stop for common illnesses
and health issues, as well as the best place to keep on top of any chronic
conditions. Think of your primary care doctor as the center of a wheel
– they will help manage your daily healthcare needs and will coordinate
with specialists if you need it.
Is there a difference between family medicine and internal medicine?
The biggest difference in selecting which type of primary care doctor
to see has to do with age. Family medicine physicians treat children and
adults while internal medicine doctors (or internists) care for adults
over the age of 18.
What is the role of a nurse practitioner in a primary care clinic?
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses who
have advanced clinical training. They diagnose and treat medical problems,
perform advanced procedures and prescribe medications.
How should I choose my primary care physician?
Here are a few tips to help find a primary care physician that is right for you.
- Appointment Availability – Are you looking for a physician with same
day/next day access or are you comfortable with scheduling your appointment
out a week or two in advance? Check our online appointment scheduling
system for availability.
- Location – Look for a physician near your home or work. Having someone
close by can help, especially when unexpected healthcare needs or illnesses arise.
- Insurance – Find a physician that accepts your healthcare insurance.
This will help you avoid “out of network” charges and fees.
- Patient Satisfaction Scores – Check out the patient satisfaction
ratings available on each physician profile.
- Recommendation – Talk to your friends and family about what physicians
they use. This is a great starting point!
My employer changed healthcare insurers. Can I keep seeing my current doctor?
We accept most health plans, including Medicare, so you might be able
to keep your current doctor even when your health plan changes. Contact
your new insurance company directly to confirm whether your doctor is
in their network. When searching for one of our primary care providers,
we make it easy to search by insurance. And on each doctor’s profile,
there’s a list of accepted health plans.
How can I communicate with my doctor’s office?
It’s easy to stay on top of your own health and in touch with your
doctor through the patient portal (link). You can view lab results, message
your doctor, make an appointment, or view a visit summary. Of course,
you can always give the office a call if you need help with anything.
Why do I need a referral from my doctor to see a specialist?
Many health insurance plans require a referral for specialists as part
of their coverage. Your primary care doctor will partner with you during
this process and coordinate your treatment with the specialist.