Your medical care is very important to your overall health. In fact, studies show that when you keep up with routine medical visits, you are less likely to require advanced medical care. As an adult, it can be difficult to find the time for routine medical visits. You are already balancing work, family, and other responsibilities and routine medical care often gets pushed to the bottom of the list. As a general rule, you should have a network of family care providers. These are your different physicians that focus on different aspects of your overall health.
Family care providers
Family care providers are often thought of as your primary physician. They are the physician that you visit when you are experiencing routine medical problems, like pains, aches, cold and flu symptoms, and for routine testing results. Your family care providers are the base to your overall healthcare. They will often collect all the records from your other physicians to get a better idea of your entire heath. They will also compare your health to your family history. Most patients choose a specific primary physician and stick with that one for many years.
An after hours urgent care center
After hours urgent care centers are becoming more and more common. They are a mix of your primary physician and the local emergency walk in clinic. In many ways, they are advantageous over the traditional emergency room because your wait time is less and it often does not cost as much. The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey reports that the average ER visitor pays total costs of $1,318 and a mean cost of $615. Urgent care centers are usually covered under insurance premiums and the patient instead, pays a reduced copay amount. Every adult should know where their local after hours urgent care center is located for immediately medical care, when needed.
Your dental health is important to your overall health. While many adult skip their routine dental cleanings and exams, this is actually important to your health care plan. Most dental insurance plans cover the entire cost of routine cleanings and exams. Both adults and children should have a preferred dentist that they use regularly for all of their dental care needs. If you do not currently have a dentist, work with your family care providers on finding a local one that accepts your current insurance.
Local community health clinic
There are some things that you likely will not want to schedule a regular physician appointment for. Some of these conditions include STD testing, quick medical checkups, or speedy vaccinations. Patients may not want to pay the office co pay amount for these low level services. They may also be too embarrassed to see their regular family physician. It can be very beneficial to know where your local free health clinic is located. It is possible that you will never use it, but it is nice to know it is there.
Specific medical conditions warrant medical specialists. Your medical specialist care will likely be organized by your family care providers. For example, if you are experiencing chronic back pain, you may be referred to a pain specialist, rheumatologist, or physical therapist. Chronic feelings of sadness may be referred to a counselor. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates of depression in elderly people can range from 3% to 13.5%. Working with medical specialists is important to recovery and monitoring of chronic medical or emotional conditions. This medical provider will likely become a very important part of your medical team.
A large percentage of adults only visit their primary physician when they are in pain or ill. This does little to prevent chronic medical conditions. Every adult should have a consistent medical team that they check in with regularly. This medical team should consist of family care providers, dentist, an after hours care center, knowledge of the local free community health clinic, and any medical specialists as needed.