Your Primary Care Physician (PCP) is Vital to Your Healthcare.
It’s helpful to have a good relationship – and good communication – with a doctor you trust and rely on. Your PCP keeps a watch on your overall health, recommending the right care at the right time to keep you at your best health. Here are some tips to get the most from your PCP visits, find one who is a perfect match for you, and understand what types of doctors can be your PCP.
Follow a Checklist:
- Always carry your Wellcare member ID card, and present it at your visit.
- If you’re seeing a new PCP, have your medical records sent from your last PCP.
- Bring a list of all your medications – even vitamins and herbal remedies. Be sure to review them with your PCP. There may be better options that you can discuss.
- Bring a list of all your questions and concerns. Go over each one, and get a plan for how to address them.
- Be honest and thorough. Doctors need to know everything about you to be able to help you. Don’t hold back. The information you share will always be kept private.
- Get a copy of the office hours and phone numbers. Know where to call in case of an emergency.
Five Steps to Finding the Right PCP
With Wellcare, you can choose a new PCP at any time. You might want one closer to home. You may want someone you feel understands you better. The choice is yours.
1. Think about your "must haves."
- When is the doctor in the office? Are evening and weekend appointments available?
- How many doctors are on call in case of an emergency?
- Is the facility handicap-accessible?
- Is transportation convenient and available?
- Would you like an office nearby?
- Do you prefer male or female doctors?
- Do you want a doctor who speaks a language other than English?
2. Ask around.
Do your friends and relatives have a PCP they trust and recommend? Find out if the PCP is on your plan and accepting new patients.
3. Check the provider directory.
To find a PCP, use our Find Provider tool.
4. Schedule your first visit.
Call to make an appointment. Or, let us help you make the appointment. You can call us at the number on the back of your Wellcare member ID card.
5. Get to know your new doctor.
Ask about his or her experience. Be sure you feel at ease with the doctor.
Who Can Be your PCP?
You will want to consider doctors from the following three general categories. All are well qualified to be your PCP:
1. General Practitioners/Physicians (GP)
GP PCPs treat patients of all ages with a variety of health issues. This type of doctor might be a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). GPs will refer a patient to a specialist if further treatment is needed.
2. Family Practitioners/Physicians
These PCPs are similar to GPs. They may also treat health issues that may require a visit to a specialist. For example, children may see a pediatrician. Women may see an OB/GYN.
These PCPs diagnose and treat adults with diseases and disorders of internal organs. They often specialize in chronic or long-term conditions. Start building a better relationship with your PCP today. If you need help finding the right match, we can help. Call us at the number on the back of your Wellcare member ID card.