There are 3 ways to access outpatient care at Fairview Range: the emergency department, urgent care, and — primary care. The latter is often glossed over, but is the secret to maintaining wellness. What is primary care all about? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Primary Care?
Primary care’s focus is your overall wellness. It’s all about preventing illness and injury and maintaining your health. You establish a primary care team, who you see again and again over the years. They’re there to answer your questions, conduct check-ins, and keep you healthy. When you have a primary care team, you have consistent health experts to lean on.
What Is a Primary Care Team?
A primary care team is your team of medical professionals. Typically, you’ll meet with one of them, your provider, to assess your health and wellness. Your provider will be either an MD, a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner. All are a wealth of health knowledge. Everyone on your health team works together so you always get the care you need. Your care team’s goal is to get to know you and your health picture. The better they know you, the better they can maintain your wellness overtime.
Why Should I See My Primary Care Team?
Do you have health questions or concerns that are not life-threatening? If yes, then you should go to your care team. They’ll be able to assess your situation, give you advice, or take tests. Also, if you haven’t had a health check-in in over a year, we recommend visiting your primary care provider.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Primary Care Team?
When you have a primary care team, you have experts who understand your health. It allows you to have a one-on-one conversation with a medical professional. They are there for you when issues arise or when it’s time for a well visit. A well visit is a clinic visit to cover your overall wellness. It’s a more casual, preventative approach to healthcare.
How Often Should I See My Primary Care Team?
We recommend at least once a year. This gives you a chance to ask your provider any health-related questions. It’s the perfect time to do a mental and physical check in with yourself and get advice from an expert. It’s also an opportunity to take important tests as you hit certain life milestones.
If you deal with any chronic issues, it may be recommended to see your provider more than once a year. Also, if you end up in the emergency department or urgent care, your doctor will likely recommend visiting your primary provider soon after. This is because your primary knows your health history better and how the illness or injury fits into that. They’ll be able to guide you to other resources, if need be.
If My Primary Care Provider Is Unavailable, Can I See Someone Else?
Yes, you can. While our team tries to see everybody as quickly as possible, sometimes it’s not possible. That’s another benefit of having a care team. If one member is unavailable, there’s a good likelihood that another team member is open. If all team members are booked, you can see a Fairview primary care provider outside your team. They’ll still have access to your charts and can ask your main provider any questions, if necessary.
Can I Ask My Provider Questions Without Being Seen?
Yes. If you have a question, you can always contact your provider through MyChart. This is also the spot you can find test results, schedule an appointment, or request prescription renewals. It makes primary care even more useful and convenient.
Will My Insurance Cover Primary Care?
In most cases, your health insurance covers once-a-year preventative visits to your primary provider. Why? Because being proactive about your health keeps our community healthier and saves everybody money in the long run. So take advantage of this visit! It’s a great way to stay connected with your care team and better understand your health.
How to Find a Primary Care Provider
Finding a provider is easy. Visit fairview.org/seach/doctors and find Family Medicine in the Services or Specialities tab, then type in your city or area code in the search bar. A list of providers in your region should pop up. You can also schedule your appointment online and check mark “Any Available Provider” instead of choosing one. If you schedule over the phone, you can tell the scheduler the provider you’d prefer or be assigned one based on your appointment availability.
Primary Care = Better Health
At Fairview, your health is our priority. One of the best tools we have at our disposal is primary care. It allows us to provide you with proactive health advice and treatments specified. Primary care helps you maintain a healthy life. If you need any help with finding a primary care team for you or your family, don’t hesitate to reach out.