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Questions for the Experts: Do I really need to establish with a primary care provider?

Questions for the Experts: Do I really need to establish with a primary care provider?

We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they hear from their patients.

Q: Do I really need to establish with a primary care provider?

A: Regardless if you believe you are too young, too healthy, too busy, or possibly…too tough… to need a primary care provider, there are multiple health and wellness benefits.

Establishing care with a primary care provider results in a stronger patient-provider relationship and subsequently better medical care and disease management. Primary care providers help to coordinate patient care and provide access to acute care treatment, chronic disease management, screening and preventative healthcare options, and referrals for specialized treatment.

Over time, your provider will get to know your health history and your personality, and they will be quicker to identify signs or symptoms indicating a change to your health. Primary care providers not only educate you regarding your current health status, they can help you prevent future illnesses by performing routine physical examinations, labs, vital signs, and measurements.

For example, simple routine testing by a primary care provider such as annual blood sugar readings may reveal diabetes, which could possibly go unnoticed for years and result in serious medical complications.

In some practices, establishing with a provider will also allow you to schedule same-day or next-day appointments, resulting in decreased urgent care costs and charges. Primary care providers treat the whole patient, not just their symptoms or disease, with a comprehensive and patient-centered approach. Establishing with and regularly visiting your provider, allows both you and your provider to make the best decisions for your health today as well as your health in the future.

Amy Hawk is a Nurse Practitioner (APRN) at Campbell County Medical Group Nephrology and Complex Medicine. The clinic is based on a medical home model, which seeks to meet many different healthcare needs for their patients, from acute illness to routine immunizations. The Clinic is open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5 pm, and same day appointments can be scheduled at 307.688.3535. Learn more at www.cchwyo.org/kidney.