When you’re young, it’s common to be reactive when it comes to your personal health. Any potential complication is easily brushed off as tomorrow’s problem. But life is unpredictable, and while you may be young and healthy today, you never know what the future can bring. It’s best to act now. Because when those unexpected health issues arise, and chances are they will, you’ll want a primary care provider (PCP) you can trust in your corner.
Primary care includes a range of preventive healthcare, wellness support, and treatment for common illnesses. PCPs include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
Your PCP will be by your side throughout your health journey, offering support and resources to help you get ahead of your future health challenges and achieve your short- and long-term health goals.
“As a primary care provider, I enjoy working with my patients through every phase of life. From helping them navigate sexual health and family planning to preventing serious chronic health conditions using early interventions, I’m here to listen to and support my patients through every decision and challenge in their healthcare journey,” said Dr. Albert Zheng, Physician, Spira Care Crossroads.
5 Reasons Primary Care Matters:
- Developing sustainable, healthy habits at an early age is critical for lifelong health.
- Untreated, minor health problems can spiral into chronic health conditions. Chronic condition management can be difficult to coordinate and expensive. Healthcare costs can quickly escalate to unmanageable levels as symptoms become severe.
- Your PCP is an advocate who can help you navigate a complex healthcare system.
- Annual wellness appointments, vaccinations, and screenings can directly impact and improve your health and wellbeing over time.
- Your PCP can help reduce your healthcare costs by ensuring you only see a specialist when necessary and they can help you find the specialist that’s right for you.
With regular visits, such as annual health checkups, your PCP will get to know a lot about you, including:
- Your current health.
- Your medical history.
- Your family’s medical history.
- Your treatment preferences and daily challenges.
- Your personality and lifestyle.
This knowledge will ensure you receive personalized care that fits your wants and needs, leading to a happier, healthier you. But it’s important to know that primary care can include much more than just the occasional sick visits you may be used to, when you have an earache or a fever. Listed below are just a few of the resources available through a PCP to proactively care for you.
Preventive Care & Additional Resources:
- Cancer screening tailored to your age and risk.
- Mental health screenings and support.
- Sexual health resources and education.
- Stress management.
- Domestic violence screenings.
- CDC recommended vaccinations based on age and risk.
- Helping you maintain a healthy weight for your body.
- Addressing barriers to accessing healthcare and adhering to treatment.
Spira Care: Taking Primary Care to the Next Level
Blue KC members with exclusive access to Spira Care are treated with a focus on high-value, lower cost healthcare that’s convenient for you. At Spira Care, referrals are needed less often due to expanded on-site services including on-site laboratory and X-ray, behavioral health consultations, health coaching, diabetes care support, care management, and comprehensive medication management.
Spira Care offers streamlined continuity of care and simplified care coordination, a partnership between you and your PCP to help make your care more convenient and affordable, and increased access to the care you need when you need it. Spira Care offers nine Care Centers across the Kansas City metropolitan area and many offer early morning and evening appointments, Saturday appointments, and same-day or next-day availability.
“Spira Care is a special place. My team and I spend the time it takes to learn about our patients as people, as members of our Spira Care family. We don’t rush our patients in and out the door; we make sure all their questions are answered and they feel good about their next steps after their appointment.” Dr. Zheng said.
The Spira Care Experience:
- A focus on wellness, whole-person care, and prevention of chronic conditions or severe symptoms.
- Providers who focus on care continuity and long-term relationships.
- Longer appointments for shared decision-making, enhanced patient engagement, and understanding each patient’s unique social determinants of health.
- Working to understand each patient’s history and concerns, anticipating health challenges before they arise.
- Intentional care coordination to facilitate warm handoffs when referrals are necessary.
The earlier you establish a trusted primary care provider, the better. Proactivity can make a huge difference in overall health as you age, and as life circumstances evolve. When it comes to your long-term health, the results are clear: continuity of care matters.