We take children to the doctor’s office regularly for illnesses, immunizations and growth milestones. Adults, on the other hand, tend to go to the doctor less often even though you don’t outgrow your need for health care. Routine primary care visits for adults are just as important, particularly for health concerns that emerge as we age. Put simply, having a primary care provider (PCP) helps you enjoy healthier years. According to the Journal of Health Affairs, people with a PCP reported higher levels of satisfaction than those without a PCP.
Benefits Adults Will Get From a Primary Care Provider
1. Save Some Money
Routine appointments with a primary care provider lowered overall health costs, according to research from the Journal of Health Affairs. Regular primary care provider visits resulted in fewer hospitalizations (average $2,000/day) and emergency visits (average $1,300/visit) compared to those who didn’t see their PCP routinely.
2. Enjoy Expert Physician Access
If you are wondering what should I do for this cough? Is this depression or just the blues? Is the vaccine safe? Your primary care provider has answers. You can look to PCPs for expert advice because they apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the full spectrum of health concerns.
3. Feel More Comfortable
It’s easier to talk about health concerns when you know and trust your primary care provider. Likewise, your PCP should be able to have candid conversations with you regarding your health. Choose a provider who makes you feel comfortable. Schedule and keep regular appointments to build a rapport.
4. Build a History With Your Provider
Seeing your primary care provider regularly helps to build your health history. Plus it helps your primary care provider get to know your habits, personality and the details of your family health history. All this information provides clues to your overall health – including signs of a potential change in your medical condition.
5. Detect Problems Early
From taking your blood pressure to testing for prostate cancer, routine screenings catch serious conditions before symptoms are noticeable – and before they cause debilitating health problems. For example, colon cancer survival rates are 90% when it’s caught early versus 14% when it’s caught late.
6. Gain Better Control
If you have diabetes, arthritis and or another chronic illness, a primary care provider can help you manage the complexities of your condition and achieve your best health. Regular visits, routine tests and individualized recommendations are three ways your PCP help you manage your health.
7. Refer with Ease
Need to see a cardiologist or other specialist? Check with your primary care provider for a referral you can trust and helpful recommendations. Your PCP can guide you through referrals and help you navigate recommendations from multiple specialists.
For more information, reach out to the CHI Health Primary Care Team.