Why Everyone Should Have a Primary Care Doctor
Having a Primary Care Doctor in today's health care environment is extremely important. Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act, primary care doctors have been working hard to keep up with the rapidly changing health care marketplace. Through all the changes, the one constant remains that the primary care provider should always be at the center of the patients care.
"It's becoming increasingly harder to attract new patients," admits Leland McKenna, Business Development Manager at Middlesex Hospital Primary Care (MHPC). MHPC is made up of 11 offices, employs over forty providers, and cares for over 40,000 patients in Middlesex County and beyond. MHPC is affiliated with Middlesex Hospital and integrated with all of the hospital services.
Among MHPC's competitors are the CVS Minute Clinics, urgent care facilities, and even the large retail operations like Wal-Mart, Stop & Shop, and Target which have primary care services in their stores.
"These retail clinics are all new competitors in the primary care market place," McKenna says adding, "This threat has really grown in the past couple of years and they will be more of a threat moving forward."
Everyone should have a primary care doctor, McKenna explains, "because you want to have a relationship with the doctor who is caring for you, and you want that doctor to know your complete health history. You will never get the type of personalized attention at the retail clinics that you get at your Primary Care Doctor's office"
Another benefit of establishing with a primary care doctor is that visits to your primary care doctor usually always much cost less than visits to the emergency department or urgent care centers. Since high deductible insurance plans are on the rise, it makes sense for patients to always call their primary care doctor first because that call could save you hundreds of dollars. In fact, preventative visits like physicals do not even have patient co-pays at MHPC for insured patients.
So why are we seeing all of these retail clinics popping up? Because the consumer has demanded accessible care, meaning they like to be able to walk into a facility and get treated, and maybe do some shopping while they are there.
"MHPC has adjusted to this model by offering all of its patient's same-day appointments. "So, if you're a patient of MHPC Madison and you're sick that morning and call up, we will get you in to see your doctor." If for some reason the Madison office doesn't have an appointment at the time you need, they will get you into their sister office in Westbrook. Again that is beauty of having 11 offices in the same geographic area."
Making an appointment with MHPC has gotten a lot easier recently. They have recently opened up a call center aimed at streamlining the appointment making process for patients. MHPC patients can also request appointments through their patient portal or through the
www.mhprimarycare.org website. MHPC has a new patient package that can be downloaded from the webpage that makes the registration process simple. "Everything we are changing is geared towards making the experience more convenient for the patient, without sacrificing the quality of our care." McKenna says.
If you don't have a primary care doctor, the best time to establish is when you're healthy because you don't have the pressures of an acute illness. Once you establish your care with MHPC, you can benefit from the same day appointments and from the coordination of the Middlesex Health System. Call MHPC today to schedule your new patient appointment.
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