Ideally, your relationship with your primary care physician is going to last for years. When selecting a PCP, you may want to consider a number of factors about the physician and their practice.
Top 4 Considerations When Choosing a PCP
Hours and location
Location, hours and availability may impact where you want to receive primary care. Some PCP practices offer extended and weekend hours, or the option of telehealth appointments. By considering the location and hours, you help ensure that receiving primary care is:
- Available when you need it
A primary care physician’s board certification could be in internal medicine, family medicine, or pediatrics. To maintain board-certified status, your doctor must undergo continuing education and demonstrate knowledge of best practices in medicine, patient safety, and ethics. By seeing a board-certified provider, you help ensure that:
- Your provider has received the highest level of accreditation within a given specialty.
Most health plans have negotiated special, discounted rates with certain doctors and hospitals in your area, called “in-network” or “preferred” providers. Choosing an in-network doctor will help you avoid surprise out-of-network charges, or potentially even having to pay the full out of pocket cost because the doctor you’ve selected doesn’t accept your insurance plan. (If you don’t have insurance, some physicians will offer discounted rates. Inquire when you make your appointment.) By choosing an in-network primary care doctor, you will most likely:
- Pay less out of pocket
- Avoid surprise charges
There are some services that all PCP practices offer, such as well checks and other routine care. But a few (including Avance Care) offer more comprehensive services, including nutrition, behavioral and mental health services, and pain management. If these are important to you, be sure to select a PCP that offers them. By choosing a primary care practice with expanded services, you help ensure that you have ready access to:
- Nutrition services
- Behavioral and mental healthcare
- Pain management services
To learn more tips on how to find the perfect primary care provider for you, download our Guide to Choosing Your Primary Care Provider here.