You have a primary care provider, right? Congratulations, you’re on the road to better health.
Recent studies show that people who see their primary care provider (PCP) live longer. Your PCP is your partner in health, and is there to help you manage your day-to-day health. This healthcare professional will get to know you – and your medical history – inside and out. A PCP is trained to look after your overall wellness, manage chronic illnesses, and help keep you on track with necessary screenings.
Your PCP can be a physician, nurse practitioner, or a physician assistant. You should be able tell your PCP anything – so choose one you trust and feel a connection with.
As your PCP monitors your health through the years, they’ll be in tune with your overall wellbeing. If anything changes, they’ll be the first to know. A PCP can identify issues like cardiovascular disease, cancer, infectious disease, respiratory disease, substance use, or violence. This can go a long way towards lengthening – and even saving – your life.
5 Benefits of Having a PCP
1. They’ll look after your health
A PCP provides proactive preventive care and helps to manage and control chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and arthritis.
2. You can lower healthcare costs
Maintaining your good health is the best way to avoid bigger, more costly healthcare issues. Regular PCP visits cost far less than visits to the ER.
3. You’ll save time
Your PCP can address multiple issues in one appointment. They can often provide a checkup, screening, and any immunizations in just one visit.
4. They’ll guide you through the healthcare system
If you ever need specialized care, your PCP can refer you to the right specialist. What’s more, they’ll coordinate with specialists throughout your care journey.
5. You’ll have a trusted health advocate
Your care is in the hands of someone who knows your whole story. The more your PCP knows you, the better they can care for you and positively impact your health for years to come.
One PCP, Two Important Yearly Visits
1. Annual Physical Exam – For checking overall health and uncovering any problems.
Your PCP will physically examine you in order to gauge how your body is performing. Based on what’s learned, your provider may order tests to discover or rule out possible health issues.
2. Annual Wellness Visit – For preventing disease or disability.
At this yearly preventive visit, you’ll fill out a health risk assessment. Your answers allow your PCP to identify risk factors, suggest appropriate preventive services, and create a personalized prevention plan.
You may also earn $25 through the Members Rewards program for getting an Annual Wellness Visit.
It’s Healthy to Have a PCP. Here’s How to Find One.
We can connect you with a PCP. Call Customer Service at 1-866-508-7140 (TTY 711). We can also help you if you’re looking to change PCPs.
Go to medicarebluekc.com/find-a-doctor, then search for Providers by Name or Specialty.
Let’s Fill in the Blank
When we know who your PCP is, we can help you make the most of your health plan benefits. If your PCP is not yet listed on your Member ID card, please contact Customer Service at 1-866-508-7140 (TTY 711) and we’ll make sure to add them.
Sources: jamanetwork.com, National Institute on Aging