5 Important Factors To Consider When Choosing A Primary Care Provider As A Senior Citizen

Posted on: 1 August 2017

In general, the primary care center or primary care physician you choose will become the cornerstone of all of your health care needs. This is the person or place you will visit when you have an illness, need follow up treatment after an injury, or even if you need a referral to a more specialized care provider. Because this is such a huge part of your health care and health care is so important as a senior citizen, making the choice about who you choose is a really big decision. Take a look at a few factors to consider before you settle with a specific provider as an aging adult. 

Accessibility - How easy will it be for you to get to the office for your care appointments? This is an important question to ask because you definitely will not want to be faced with a challenge every time you need to visit the doctor for care. Look for a provider that is close enough to your home that making a trip to the doctor will be an easy thing, even on days you're not feeling well. 

Insurance - Does the provider accept the type of insurance you have? Many primary care providers to accept most types of Medicare or Medicaid insurance and even several private insurance types. However, it is always best to ask this question first when searching for a primary care provider. 

Doctor Availability - While it is perfectly fine to choose a primary care provider that acts as a single provider, as a senior, sometimes it can be better to find a clinic that is home to several providers. Primary care clinics with more than one physician available can usually offer quicker appointments and may even have a range of special services because of it. 

Geriatric Medicine Familiarity - As an aging adult, finding a doctor who knows about what you are going through is important. There are so many different illnesses and diseases that can come up when you get older, so finding a primary provider who is experienced with geriatric medicine is definitely a good idea. 

Appointment Wait Times - For the most part, a staff member or medical secretary at a health clinic or office can give you a general estimate of wait times patients face when they arrive for appointments. Asking this is a good way to find out what you should expect as a patient. Places that have longer wait times can be a poor choice for you as a senior citizen, so it can be better to find a provider who may not have as many current patients or is capable of handling a higher number of patients because of extra staff. 

For more information about primary care treatments, check with a provider like Port City Pediatrics.