Finding Time for the Doctor
When do working adults find time to see the doctor? The answer, unfortunately, is they often don’t. Or, at least, they wait until the issue becomes unbearable. Acute healthcare worries can be extremely stressful. Ignoring chronic health concerns can be equally taxing. One visit to the doctor often turns into four or five additional from lab work, imaging, seeing a specialist, then retrieving prescriptions. Busy professionals don’t have time to take off work for a day, much less five. So, how do you find time for the doctor and stay on top of your health while managing a fast-paced, time-intensive career?
You Have Options for Care
It seems there are innovative ways to gain access to medical care every day. Though, access to care isn’t without its headaches. Depending on the route you choose, the wait could belong, the cost could be high, and the experience can be downright awful.
Traditional Primary Care
It used to be common practice to call your family doctor for an appointment when you were sick. Recent decline in primary care physicians has put a strain on this model. Single doctors have thousands of patients, and their time is spread extremely thin.
Most often, your health insurance carrier determines which doctors you can see, and the costs associated with the visit. For example, insurance will only pay for a single wellness visit a year. If you switch doctors within that year and maintain the same insurance, the new office will refuse the appointment or make you pay out of pocket. Out-of-pocket expenses to see your regular physician include a facility fee AND a doctor’s fee plus the cost of any supplies used, tests conducted, or procedures done during your visit.
An even crazier scenario happens when you go for your annual wellness visit. You may receive a bill even though it is supposed to cost you nothing. The reason? Because you asked a question. Now that visit became a sick visit and there is a charge. Unbelievable!
Further, the doctor who oversees your total health only sees you for fifteen to twenty minutes a year. It’s difficult to build a rapport or get to know anyone’s entire health history in such a short time. Because of their vast case load, doctors will often write referrals to other providers who are specialists with even less time to get to know you, adding yet another appointment to your list.
Traditional primary care is no longer practical for busy professionals.
So, when things go wrong and you become ill, the standard of pushing patients off continues with the suggestions of being seen in an urgent care or the emergency room.
Anyone experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, uncontrollable bleeding, trauma, or any other conditions that could cause the loss of limb, eyesight, or life should not hesitate to go to the emergency room.
The ER is designed specifically for the above reasons and should only be used in emergencies. However, no one seeking healthcare can be turned away from an emergency room, even if they are uninsured and cannot pay. Since the receptionist is not qualified to determine if a concern is a genuine emergency, the patient determines if their ailment is an emergency and is granted access to a doctor.
A nurse is qualified to triage the condition of patients. This triage process determines the order in which patients are seen. If you are in excruciating pain from an ear infection, the patients with more serious conditions will be seen, treated, and stabilized before it’s your turn.
Not to mention, the expense of an ER deductible is not worth your other available options.
There could be value in paying top dollar to be seen quickly, but emergency rooms should be reserved for genuine emergencies and not used for convenience.
Many people consider UrgentCare centers to diagnose and treat sudden onset illnesses or injury. Paying extra—but less than the emergency room—for the convenience of a same-day appointment is most often a deciding factor.
Even with insurance, urgent cares cost more than a regular sick visit to your doctor, but less than an emergency room visit. Triage occurs in much the same fashion, but most often, patients are treated in the order they checked in. Sometimes, you can schedule an appointment, but based on the volume of patients, the doctor could run behind.
When you’re uncomfortable orin pain, sitting in a sterile waiting room with other uncomfortable people is the last place you want to be. Often, people wait until their ailment is nearly unbearable before seeing a doctor. The experience is already miserable because you’re unwell.
You’re still losing a chunk of your day to ambiguity. How well can you be treated at a clinic with“express” in the name? They only know as much as you tell them in the few minutes you have face to face. Time is money, and there is an easier and better way to maximize your time, health, and dollars.
Direct Primary Care
Direct, or concierge, primary care removes the authority of insurance by implementing a membership system.For a flat monthly fee, you have better access to your doctor, a more personal medical plan better fit to your lifestyle and schedule, and a proactive model of preventative care (think HEALTH care, instead of SICK care).
Concierge doctors have smaller patient loads and can spend up to two hours with a new patient simply getting to know them, their goals, and their medical histories. They are not constantly multitasking during your appointment. They have time to spend actually speaking with you and listening to you, making sure they understand the care you are looking for.
Even if you have complex medical issues, your concierge primary care doctor quarterbacks your health.They keep track and stay on top of your outside visits to ensure they have the most up-to-date view of your whole health.
Marry convenience with timesaving availability and add a doctor who knows you and your whole health situation, and you get more time to focus on what really matters.
What you’ll find at Connected HealthPittsburgh
Connected Health isPittsburgh’s Leading Concierge Primary Care Center. Our clients have 24/7access to a medical team they know and know them. They can text a provider on aSunday afternoon or a Tuesday evening and receive an answer within minutes.Healthcare does not have to be difficult. It shouldn’t be. Traditional primary care is broken and impractical. You deserve better than traditional primary care. You deserve to have healthcare that respects your time and treats your health as seriously as you do.
If you’re ready to say goodbye to urgent cares, ambiguity around your own health, and insurance red tape, contact Connected Health today and see the difference for yourself.