Hands of medical doctor

Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) are general medicine doctors for adults and children.  Internal Medicine doctors are PCPs for adults only, Pediatricians are doctors for children and Family Practice doctors are general doctors for both adults and children. PCPs see patients for annual checkups and preventive exams and screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol blood test, etc…  PCPs are also used by patients to treat acute illnesses, chronic conditions and other issues ranging from aches and pains to allergies.

3 things that healthcare consumers should know for Primary Care visits:

  1. If you are going for a preventive or wellness exam, you need to speak with the physician about coding the visit as a well checkup.  Oftentimes the diagnosis code V70[1] is used for such a visit. Under this code, the visit will be covered at 100%, you will not have any out-of-pocket cost (copays or deductibles charges).  If you have a specific complaint either schedule another visit for that issue or just know that your visit may be coded differently and you will therefore need to pay for the cost of the visit via co-pay or direct bill (deductible).
  2. If you have a particular issue, such as achy joint, sore throat, allergies, even heartburn, and are not sure what type of doctor to go to, it might be best to see a PCP first.  Often your PCP can diagnose and treat the issue. If they cannot, then they can refer you to the most appropriate of specialist. People ‘self-refer’[2] to a specialist, they risk picking the wrong doctor. This just wastes and time and money (you still have to pay for the appointment for the wrong doctor) plus they have delayed the final diagnosis and treatment.
  3. If you are prescribed a medication and that medication is brand name—try to ask for a generic medication instead.  Many conditions have generic treatment options that are very effective, cost much less and can be more established which means that possible side-effects are known and managed.

1 www.compassphs.com By Dr Eric – Posted on July 10, 2015

2 www.compassphs.com Br Dr Eric – Posted on July 10, 2015