UPMC provider: Prioritize routine care visits | News, Sports, Jobs
After two years of coping with the woes of the pandemic, it’s time to make your health a top priority again. While you may think a primary care appointment isn’t urgent and there’s nothing wrong with postponing a visit to your provider, you could be bracing yourself for more potentially serious health issues. late. Cancer and other major health issues are being discovered in advanced stages more than ever, and taking action can help reverse these worrying trends.
Find a PCP that’s right for you
Primary care offices are also called health centers or doctor’s offices. These offices have family medicine providers specially trained to treat patients of all ages. These offices may include physicians (MD and DO), certified nurse practitioners (CRNP), and physician assistants (PA-C).
The primary care offices are:
• Open during the week, and can offer extended hours for evenings or weekends
• Your best resource for physical exams, wellness screenings and vaccinations
• Intended to manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure, minor acute illnesses such as colds, urinary tract infections and your general well-being
• Helpful in diagnosing problems early and connecting you with specialists as needed for outpatient assessment and/or testing
Choosing a PCP is a long-term commitment to your health. To get the most out of the relationship, you need to consider factors such as the location of the office, the service offered, and your confidence in your ability to build a lasting relationship with the supplier. Your family, friends, neighbors or colleagues are also good resources and can give you sound recommendations. Finally, make sure the PCP accepts your insurance and is affiliated with the hospitals included in your healthcare coverage.
Seeing a primary care physician regularly is key to maintaining your overall health. Through regular visits, your provider gets to know you, your family history and your lifestyle. They recommend preventative health checkups and vaccinations based on your age and individual health care needs. By developing a trusting relationship with a regular doctor, you can talk honestly and openly about your health issues.
Primary care visit
Once you have found a provider, the next step is to schedule an appointment and prepare for that first visit. The first visit is often a “new patient” visit where the provider will get to know you better by talking with you about your lifestyle, family history, current problems or conditions, and performing a physical examination, which may include blood tests. All of this information helps the provider paint a picture of your health and well-being, as well as build the relationship.
Preparing for the visit is nothing to worry about and it can help you have an even better date. For example, you can write down a list of questions or symptoms you might have so you can start the conversation about your health. It would also be helpful to write down the times and dates of your symptoms so you don’t have to rely on your memory.
Don’t forget other important things, such as:
• Insurance card
• Co-payment indicated on your insurance card
• Photo identification (ID) such as a valid driver’s license
• List of medications and/or herbal supplements you are currently taking
• Any completed forms that your doctor’s office may have provided to you.
Don’t delay, schedule today
If it’s been a year or more since you last saw a primary care provider, it’s time to schedule a visit. Once the first appointment is over, you can ask your healthcare team to automatically set up a yearly calendar so you don’t have to remember it. Through regular visits, you develop a good relationship with your provider and give them the opportunity to get to know you and your medical history, which ultimately allows them to take good care of you.
UPMC facilities are safe and continue to go above and beyond to ensure the highest quality care, so don’t delay your preventative screenings.
David Luo, DO, sees patients at UPMC Outpatient Center, 1 Outlet Lane, Suite 400, Lock Haven, PA 17745. To make an appointment with Dr. Luo, patients can call 570-769-1300. For more information, visit UPMC.com/PrimaryCareNCPA.