Why You Need a Primary Care Provider

The Blueprint — May 20, 2019

The demands of our busy lifestyles can make it difficult for us to justify making a trip to the doctor for preventive care. It’s not uncommon to dismiss the option of routine healthcare check-ups and screenings, instead to only make a trip to the doctor when facing injury or illness.

This disjointed approach to care, when combined with other contributing factors, is costly – for both patients’ health and wallets. The U.S. outspends all other industrial countries on healthcare  – nearly $10,000 per person annually – but has lower health outcomes. In fact, a recent Blue Cross and Blue Shield study revealed that when comparing millennials and Generation X members in the same age range, millennials have higher prevalence rates for virtually all of the top ten health conditions, from depression to type 2 diabetes. Healthcare providers and health plans need to work together to deliver high-quality care while decreasing costs and strengthening relationships between patients and their clinicians. Members should be made aware of the benefits of primary care – and the consequences of going without.

How Can You Benefit From Primary Care?

A primary care physician (PCP) can help address and resolve most general health problems. Access to a wide array of patient care is available under one roof through a primary care provider, including preventive care like cancer screenings, chronic care for conditions like asthma, hypertension and diabetes, and acute care for symptoms like cough, stomach pain, or high fever.

What’s more, the primary care experience establishes an ongoing relationship with your doctor that provides a complete picture of your health history and behaviors. This relationship is especially important to navigate and manage your long-term healthcare needs. With options like Spira Care, patients can enable stronger bonds with their physician. Through this simplified system, which merges integrated primary care and coverage, enrolled Blue KC members receive a more personal and affordable healthcare experience with access to benefits including routine preventative care, primary care and chronic condition management.

Studies show that areas of the U.S. with more primary care doctors have healthier populations and lower healthcare costs. People are less likely to be hospitalized, and there are lower death rates for cancer, heart disease and stroke. It is estimated that one primary care doctor per 10,000 people in the U.S. can decrease hospital admissions by 5.5 percent, emergency room visits by 11 percent and surgeries by 7 percent.

Primary Care in Kansas City

At Blue KC, we know the important role that effective primary care plays in improving healthcare overall, and we’re continuously exploring innovative approaches to achieve high-quality, affordable healthcare for our members. In 2010, Blue KC started the Blue KC Medical Home Program and in 2017, we introduced the aforementioned Spira Care with AdventHealth. We also announced involvement in the groundbreaking Comprehensive Primary Care Plus Program led by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Proactive steps to manage your wellbeing can help you remain in good health, and we’re committed to providing access to quality care in the easiest and most innovative ways possible.