Primary Health Care 101
What is Primary Care?
It’s not always understood what is meant by the term “primary care” in medicine. Primary care by definition means providing care at a basic and broad, not specialized, level. Providers will perform physical exams and order routine screening tests such as mammograms and bloodwork. They oversee most chronic conditions, prescribe medications, and treat acute injuries and illnesses. A primary care office is considered the hub of healthcare as well, where a patient will start if they have a new concern or symptom, and then can be referred to a specialist if needed. Primary Health Care is often regarded as the most inclusive, equitable and cost-effective way to address your overall health (World Health Organization).
What does Primary Care include?
We at Vibrant Health simply see this as a jumping-off point for the care we provide for our patients. For myself, having worked as a primary care provider for 13 years, it’s incredibly important to me to get to know all patients personally, remembering details about their lives, families, careers, and more, because of course all of these factors affect one’s health. Each provider at Vibrant Health shines at offering this personal touch because we want to be more than a medical hub for our patients. We strive to be a true medical home.
As such, our approach to primary care is a bit different than the standard. We perform routine exams and tests, but often our patients will say even our baseline bloodwork is more detailed than anything they have had performed before. We offer gynecology in the office, which falls under the umbrella of primary care for women. Lab work is analyzed in a comprehensive fashion as we want to ensure that your hormones, vitamin levels, and thyroid levels are optimized, not just “in range”. We will talk to you about your diet, exercise habits, stress levels, and mental health, and dig deep into your past to search for why a symptom is occurring. Our office is focused on the prevention of illness rather than just treating illness that is already present. This isn’t your average primary care- it is primary care blended with functional medicine, which is widening our diagnostic lens to search for root causes of disease. We are so proud to be able to offer this nuanced and specialized care to our patients.
Choosing your Primary Care Provider
Something that is often missing in standard primary care practices is consistent follow-up. It’s important that once we provide recommendations to patients to genuinely improve their health that we see them again on a routine schedule. This provides continuity of care, a benchmark to monitor for improvement, an accountability partner for patients, a forum to change direction if needed, and a way for us to get to know our patients better. Follow-up is what is often lacking in medicine, and one of the main differences in how we provide primary care at Vibrant Health. For the majority of our patients, they’ll be seen more often than just for their annual physical.
The Costs of Primary Care
As the cost of healthcare rises, each branch of the medical field is forced to find ways to make their practice as affordable as possible. Obviously, your choices can affect the individual cost of Primary Care. For example, having health insurance and making sure your choice of Primary Care Provider is in-network with your specific insurance company, what your insurance covers, if there is a co-pay and how much are some of the things that affect cost. According to the KHealth, the average cost of a Primary Care visit is $171.00 with insurance and ranges from $75 to $300.00 without insurance. With different levels of appointments available, the cost of each are most likely going to vary.
Schedule a Primary Care Visit Today!
Though primary care is defined as basic and not specialized care, we don’t see it that way. The detailed and specific care we strive to provide daily is what makes our office unique.
For more information on our Primary Care Services, give us a call today! We are happy to answer any questions you have and can schedule an in-person visit at your convenience. First time visiting us? We gather medical history, consult with you on your health needs, and provide feedback on our initial discoveries. We can’t wait to work with you!