Caring is Loving: Primary Care Basics / Medicare, Awareness Campaign, Healthcare / By Princess Nel-Ann Olo Primary care is necessary for the elderly. This requires prescriptions, monitoring, and check-ups to be given on a regular basis. Hence, showing care especially for adults 65 and above is truly an impactful cause. But what exactly is primary care? Why is it important and what are the things we need to consider before getting one? What is Primary Care and What Does it Offer? Primary care providers oversee the patient’s day-to-day health issues. Particularly, a primary care physician (PCP) is a healthcare provider who assists you in managing your health. When you have a non-emergency medical problem, he or she is the first person you should contact. A PCP can teach you how to keep healthy, treat you while you are sick, and refer you to more advanced care if necessary. A long-term relationship with a PCP can help you stay healthier and save money on medical bills. Additionally, your PCP can answer inquiries regarding infections, chronic diseases, and medications. With regular check-ups, your PCP will get to know a lot about the: current state of your health; your medical background; the medical history of your family; treatment choices and challenges you face daily; and personality and lifestyle you have. After looking into these details, your PCP can offer the following services: Teach you how to make better health decisions to avoid disease (e.g., smoking, diet, and stress management); Check if your vaccines are up to date to prevent illnesses; Suggest screening exams to detect problems; Take care of any health issues that arise (such as a rash or an infection); Assist you in dealing with long-term health issues (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression); and Find a medical specialist if you need one. Moreover, primary care doctors identify potential health issues early on before they become serious. Eventually, people who have PCP spend less time in the hospital and spend less money on medical bills. Types of Primary Care Physicians Primary care is provided by a variety of healthcare providers. Specialists with specialized training treat patients under different categories. Family practitioners see patients of all ages, including the entire family. Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in the care of children and teenagers. Internists, also known as internal medicine doctors, only see adults. Geriatricians are doctors who specialize in the care of the elderly. Obstetricians and gynecologists specialize in the health and pregnancy of women. Considerations in Choosing Primary Care Physicians Finding a PCP who is qualified, suits your personality, and accepts your insurance plan is critical to feeling at ease and developing a long-term connection. Below are several ways that can assist you in finding the correct provider. Speak with people you know and trust, such as family, friends, and neighbors. Discuss with those you know in the medical field, such as your dentist, a nurse, or another doctor. Request assistance from your health insurance company in locating someone who accepts your insurance in your area. Look up a healthcare provider in a national directory on the internet. Such directories are available from organizations such as the American Board of Family Medicine. Make use of a local search engine. Physician search tools may be available at local hospitals. Moreover, you may be able to schedule an interview with a PCP to get to know the candidate before deciding. Ask the following questions to see if the person is a suitable match for your personality, lifestyle, and requirements: What are your credentials? Do you have a primary care certification? Are you more concerned with disease prevention or treatment? Do you prefer a more conservative or aggressive treatment approach? How do you know when a patient requires the services of a specialist? What is your preferred method of communication (in person, over the phone, or via email)? When you are on vacation, who should I talk to? You should also think about the PCP’s entire office environment and the people at the PCP’s office. You can ask about: What are the hours of operation? What is the average time it takes to get an appointment? Is the office able to do lab tests on-site or nearby? Are the employees pleasant to work with? Do your employees answer the phone quickly? The pointers above are proven to help in choosing primary care providers. How Can ArchWell and Simple Choice Help? At Simple Choice Insurance Brokerage, we believe in focused primary care for individuals on Medicare. We want our clients to be heard before being treated. Many people on Medicare have reached a special time in their life where they have reached the age of 65 or older. At this age, there are those who experienced life-changing events that require primary care. To achieve our vision, we decided to partner with primary care physicians and other organizations, like ArchWell, that focus on working with Medicare patients in underserved and disadvantaged communities. Simple Choice connects to centers of influence like churches, nonprofits, and hospital groups to bridge between the patient, doctor, insurance company, and all other forms of services. We are more than an insurance agent, we want to be an organization of healthcare advocates. We do not enroll and disappear, the individual becomes a member of the community. We chose ArchWell Health as a community partner to champion our cause because of what they do. ArchWell Health represents people who care. They focus on the health of seniors as a whole, and give ample time listening to their clients. Indeed, better outcomes require teamwork between the doctor, patient, and healthcare advocates. Teamwork makes the dream work! Visit ArchWell or Simple Choice Insurance Brokerage’s website to learn more about Medicare and what we can offer.