Just Moved To A New Town? 2 Little-Known Facts About Primary Care Physicians To Keep In Mind When Choosing Your New Doctor

Posted on: 22 December 2016

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Moving to a new town or state can be very stressful. After the hassle of the move itself is over, you must then get used to a new job, help your little ones conquer the challenge of attending new schools, and work to build new local friends who you enjoy spending free time with. While it may seem like the last task you want to add to your already stressful situation, choosing a new primary care physician is important after making a move. You never know when you or your little ones will become ill, and the last thing any of you needs the hassle of is dealing with illness with a brand-new doctor who your family has not even become acquainted with. 

To eliminate some of the stress of choosing a doctor, read on to learn two things about primary care physicians to keep in mind when choosing and visiting your new family physician. 

1. Some Primary Care Physicians Are Well-Trained in Pediatric Medicine

If your children and you had different doctors before the move, then you may think that pediatricians are the only physicians trained to perform wellness exams on children, treat them when ill, and diagnose their chronic health problems. Your primary care physician may have even stated that they only treat adults. 

The truth is that there are two types of primary care physicians: those that were trained in and specialize in family medicine and those trained in internal medicine. If your last doctor only accepted adult patients, then he or she likely practiced internal medicine. Internal medicine specialists, or internists, are trained only in the care of adults in medical school. 

However, primary care physicians trained in family medicine learned how to perform wellness exams, treat illness, and diagnose new diseases in both adults and children of all ages while in medical school. 

That means that if you would like to avoid having to choose both a new pediatrician for your children and a new adult doctor for yourself, you can just find one primary care physician trained in family medicine to treat you all. This can make visiting the office for wellness exams and getting healthcare when the children and you are all sick easier; you can book all of your appointments with the same doctor on the same days. 

2. Visiting A New Primary Care Physician Not Covered By Your Insurance Plan Can Be Affordable

If you just started a new job and are waiting for your health insurance benefits to "kick in" after the standard waiting period, then you may think that you simply cannot afford to visit a doctor before your benefits begin due to the cost of the visits simply being out of your budget. Or you may have met a great doctor in town who you think would be a great fit for you or your family but then found out that they are "out of network" in your insurance guide. 

The truth is that many primary care physicians go out of their way to make their care affordable for any patient who would like to visit them. Many primary care physicians have self-pay policies that provide the uninsured or patients with insurance that doesn't cover their services a discount price for their services.

Don't feel guilty for paying the physician less than they would receive from an insurance company for a visit; when a physician provides services on a self-pay basis, they don't have to spend the time filling out lengthy paperwork to submit to an insurance company and then wait to be reimbursed for the services they provide you. The insurance companies often don't even pay physicians the full amounts they bill for services they provide patients if the insurance company itself doesn't think the service was needed, was "worth" the price the doctor billed, or the doctor's office makes a typo on the insurance reimbursement form.