Sometimes our busy lives make it difficult to find time to visit the doctor for preventive care. It’s easy to put off visiting the doctor for things that seem unimportant until an injury or illness forces you to slow down and take time off to go to the doctor.
This disjointed approach to care, when combined with other contributing factors, is costly – for patients’ health and wallets. The U.S. outspends all other industrial countries on healthcare – nearly $10,000 per person annually – but has lower health outcomes. We need to find a better way to deliver high-quality care while decreasing costs and strengthening relationships between patients and their clinicians.
One simple solution may be the cure: primary care.
How Can You Benefit From Primary Care?
Sometimes referred to as the basis of an effective healthcare system, primary care is a simpler, more streamlined approach to care. A primary care physician (PCP) can help address and resolve most general health problems. Access to a wide array of patient care is available under one roof through a primary care provider, including preventive care like cancer screenings, chronic care for conditions like asthma, hypertension, and diabetes, and acute care for symptoms like cough, stomach pain, or high fever.
What’s more, the primary care experience establishes an ongoing relationship with your doctor that provides a complete picture of your health history and behaviors. This relationship is especially important to navigate and manage your long-term healthcare needs. With a relationship in place, some treatments with your PCP can be handled over the phone or via email. If needed, a PCP can not only recommend specialists, but also coordinate your treatment outside of the primary care practice. A solid history with one PCP and their practice ensures that you’ll receive the best possible care, and at a significantly lower overall cost.
Studies show that areas of the U.S. with more primary care doctors have healthier populations and lower healthcare costs. People are less likely to be hospitalized, and there are lower death rates for cancer, heart disease and stroke. It is estimated that one primary care doctor per 10,000 people in the U.S. can decrease hospital admissions by 5.5 percent, emergency room visits by 11 percent and surgeries by 7 percent.
Primary Care in Kansas City
At Blue KC, we know the important role that effective primary care plays in improving healthcare overall, and we’re continuously exploring innovative approaches to achieve high-quality, affordable healthcare for our members. In 2010, Blue KC started the Blue KC Medical Home Program, We also recently announced involvement in the groundbreaking Comprehensive Primary Care Plus Program led by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
Proactive steps to manage your wellbeing can help you remain in good health, and at Blue KC, we’re committed to providing access to quality care in the easiest and most innovative ways possible.
To learn more about our network of primary care providers and find a doctor in your area, visit our website.