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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.

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