Going to the doctor's office is a familiar experience for many. We often go to the doctor's when we don't feel well, have an ongoing issue, or need a routine check-up. In fact, around 84 percent of adults had contact with a health care provider in 2018. Taking care of your health is important, and primary care is part of accomplishing that.
While many people go to the doctor's, not everyone knows what primary care is, or why it's important. Having an understanding of what primary care is and how it can help you is key to staying healthy, and understanding how to do that.
Read on to learn about what is primary care, how it can help you, and where you can get primary care.
Primary care refers to the day-to-day care provided by health care providers to patients. This is often the first point of contact patients have when seeking assistance with a medical issue. Primary care covers a broad range of services and needs that you can have address with a provider. Some common examples may include going to the doctor when you have a cold, don't feel well, or need an annual physical.
Primary care includes the following:
Often referred to as a PCP, a primary care provider is a medical professional that offers primary care services. An established PCP is key to maintaining your overall health and having a resource to turn to whenever unexpected needs come up. Having a PCP is incredibly beneficial because:
Primary care is about you and your health needs. It's no surprise, then, that every one has different health needs. As a result, there are different areas of primary care based on patient needs and health:
In addition to these four areas, there are also other kinds of primary care that have become more widely available.
Primary care is an important tool to take care of your health. But, not everyone may consider primary care a need. Even if you are healthy, you should get primary care and have a PCP. Here are a few reasons why primary care is absolutely necessary:
When we talk about primary care, it's important to also discuss preventative care. Preventative care is a component of primary care that is defined as follows: care to help prevent against illness, disease, or other medical problems before they become serious. Basically, preventative care is aimed at keeping you healthy, so you don't get sick with something that could have been avoided.
In the long run, preventative care can help you not only prevent any illness, it can drastically cut your medical bills and doctor's visits. That's because addressing a potential issue early on will keep you from dealing with something more serious, and costly.
Here are some examples of preventative care:
Unfortunately, preventative services are not as widely used as they should be. Only 8% of American adults aged 35 or older received all recommended, high-priority, appropriate clinical preventive services. Preventative care can help reduce chronic illnesses such a diabetes, obesity, and heart problems.
In 2014, 60% of adult Americans had at least one chronic disease or condition, and 42% had multiple diseases. Chronic conditions lead to lower quality of life, and are incredibly costly. In 2016, total direct costs for health care treatment of chronic diseases were more than $1 trillion, with diabetes as one of the top three diseases.
The best way to get started with preventative services is by having a primary care doctor. Read on to learn how to get primary care and find a provider.
Finding the right primary care doctor for you is an important step in in your care. Knowing where to start can feel overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Here's a few suggestions and notes regarding getting primary care:
At Apicha Community Health Center, we offer low-cost, inclusive, comprehensive primary care services to anyone in need. We'll set you up with a primary care provider who can cater to all your needs. As a patient of Apicha CHC, you can expect the following:
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