Most of us have been to the doctor at least once in our lifetime. When we're feeling sick or need an annual checkup, that's what we do. Both of these are examples of primary care. But what is primary care? Do you really know? In this blog, we're going to explain the specifics of primary care and why it's important for your health.
Your first point of care
Primary care refers to day-to-day care provided by health care providers to patients. Typically, your primary care doctor is who you reach out to first when you have a medical issue going on. From there, either your primary care doctor can help resolve the issue, or refer you to a specialist. Primary care includes a number of services:
- Annual physical exams
- Regular check-ups for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure
- Health education
- Health maintenance
- HIV/STI Screening
- Chronic disease management for conditions like HIV/AIDS, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, and Hepatitis B and C
- Care for short-term diseases like strep throat, bronchitis, sinus infections, and STIs
- Depression screening
- Referrals to specialists
So what's a primary care provider?
When you're searching for a doctor, it's good to have an established primary care doctor. This is the medical provider who can help you with any health concerns or issues you may have, and cover the range of services mentioned above. Primary care providers, also known as PCPs, specialize in providing this kind of care. If you're in need of a specialist, your PCP can refer you.
Why should I have primary care?
A lot of folks think that because they are healthy, they don't need to do routine checkups or have a primary care doctor. But that isn't exactly correct. Having a primary care doctor is a key component of being able to take care of your health when you need to. It's better to have an established PCP ahead of time, so if anything comes up, you know who to call. Additionally, primary care can help you and your PCP monitor your health and keep and eye out for anything concerning. In addition, you'll have the following benefits of a PCP:
- You can have an established medical provider to contact if you need any health issues addressed
- You can build a relationship with a PCP and establish trust
- Having a PCP who knows you and your needs
- Get quick and timely care
- They'll have your patient profile and history on file
- You can get referrals to specialists, if necessary
Apicha CHC can get you primary care 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:
- You will have your own PCP who understands you and your health care needs.
- You will get regular check-ups for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure.
- You will get necessary vaccines and cancer screenings appropriate for you.
- If you smoke we can work with you to help you stop smoking.
- Medication prescriptions and assistance with prior authorizations.
- You will be screened for depression and anxiety. If needed, you will have access to Apicha CHC’s on-site Behavioral Health Specialists.
You can get a same or next day appointment when you are sick and you will be seen by a provider that knows you.
- You can see our Registered Dietitian for nutrition counseling and weight management.
- For the things we cannot address, we will help you find a specialist and coordinate your care.
- Access to our in-house pharmacy, or free delivery.
- You may have access to reduced cost medication.