Your primary care physician is the first call when an important health issue comes up. It is important to know you have a choice in selecting a primary care physician that is just right for you.
If you typically do not have a primary care physician, your insurance company may assign you one. The physician selected for you is based on your demographics, such as where you live, not necessarily the best primary care physician for you.
However, insurance companies also give you the freedom of changing your assigned primary care physician anytime you want. This often requires just one phone call or online submission. Jacksonville Clinic is part of almost every insurance plan. That means, with a few exceptions, you should be able to select a Jacksonville Clinic physician to be your primary care physician, regardless of your insurance plan.
Your primary care physician is your right hand in all health-related issues. Be sure to choose smart. Ask yourself:
- Is your primary care physician taking a personalized approach to your health?
Each patient is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all equation in caring for a patient. Look for a primary care physician who listens to your concerns, answers all of your questions fully, and is developing a care plan that is personalized to you and your lifestyle.
- Is your primary care physician convenient?
Be sure your primary care physician is putting you at the center of care. This means being convenient to you. Are appointments readily available or do you get thrown on a long wait list? Are walk-ins welcome? Are most insurance plans accepted? These factors can determine whether or not the physician has made your convenience a priority.
- Is a patient portal available to you?
Patient portals are a new online tool offering patients an easy & private way to access their medical information online. Patient portals can make managing your health easier by providing access to lab results, medications, medical records & health education wherever and whenever an internet connection is available. Be sure to find out if your primary care physician is offering this service.
- Is your primary care physician providing cost-effective care?
The most cost-effective primary care physicians operate as an outpatient clinic. This means they can provide many of their services and tests in-office and avoid sending you to a costly hospital or testing center. Being able to provide services and testing in their office saves patients time and additional fees.
- Is your primary care physician putting prevention at the forefront of your care?
Take note of whether or not your primary care physician is talking to you about wellness. Your doctor should be coaching you on diet, exercise and healthy living. The best primary care physicians take steps to prevent disease, not just steps to treat it.
- Is your primary care physician ensuring you are well-informed?
Be sure your doctor is taking the time to explain exactly what they are doing and why. You should never feel in the dark about your health. Also, ensure your doctor is taking the time to explain your condition and treatment to family members you choose to bring. Family members often play a critical role in keep the patient on track so your physicians should be taking the time to educate them as well.
Selecting the right primary care physician is about more than just insurance. Your primary care physician is your point person for your healthcare needs. Choose wisely.