Healthcare is complex. Having one doctor who knows you and your health history and to help guide you is essential as a Disney Cast Member or Employee.
Researchers at the journal Health Affairs found that patients who have a primary care provider benefit from better health, lower overall health-care costs and are happier with their care.
Here are five reasons you should build a relationship with a primary care provider —generally considered the specialties of internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics — and improve health care for you and your family.
Having a single physician who has seen you for everything from bellyaches to immunizations to blood-pressure control means you have a trusted healthcare partner who knows your history. When you have an appointment, you don’t have to explain yet again that there’s heart disease in your family or list the medications you’re taking and in what doses- it’s already in your medical record.
Within a primary care practice, you can assess a wide variety of health services: preventative care and screenings; care for chronic conditions such as asthma, hypertension and diabetes; and acute care for problems like aches and pains, coughs and high fever.
A preventive care visit – also known as an ‘annual physical’ or ‘wellness visit’ is when you make an appointment with your PCP to talk about your current health status and how you can stay well. This visit usually occurs once a year and is covered 100% by Disney’s HMO medical option. And, under Disney’s wellness rewards program, you can earn $100 for a preventive care visit and up to another $200 in rewards for healthy weight and blood pressure results.
Please be aware that addressing acute or chronic medical problems does not fall within the services of a preventative/wellness care visit. These issues should be addressed at another visit and are subject to your regular copay for a primary care visit.
3. Health maintenance
Your primary care doctor can help you avoid health problems. Based on the doctor’s examination and your medical history, he or she can determine whether you’re at increased risk for conditions like diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and then help you take steps to prevent or delay them from developing.
4. Early detection
Regular checkups and contact with your primary care physician make it more likely that any health issues will be detected early when they’re often more treatable.
5. Better communication
When patients know their physician and the practice staff, visits are less stressful and more productive. It’s easier to talk about sensitive issues with someone you know in a familiar setting than with a stranger in a strange place.
Primary Care Prep
Unfortunately, we often let hurry, worry or embarrassment keep us from getting what we need from a physician visit. So how can you maximize one-on-one time with your doctor? Try these tips:
Make a list. Before your appointment, jot down the two or three most important things you want to ask the doctor. Each issue you want addressed will take time, so a list can help you and your physician prioritize.
Be specific. Help your doctor help you by being prepared to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible. If you’re having knee pain, for example, explain what it feels like and when it occurs. Is it sharp or dull? Is it constant or does it come and go?
Get medicines checked. If you take medications (even if prescribed by different doctors), vitamins, or supplements, bring a list of them or bring the pill bottles with you.
Speak up for yourself. Don’t leave your biggest worry for the end of the visit. Mention major concerns early to be sure there’s time to answer your questions.
Don’t try to be your own doctor. It’s good to do research, but resist jumping to conclusions about your condition.
Summarize and understand. Before the doctor leaves the room, ask for the opportunity to repeat back the main things you learned during your visit to help ensure you understand everything fully.
If you don’t have a personal physician yet, Contact the Member Experience Center. With one call, we can help you find a primary care physician and get you scheduled right away. Call (855) 747-7476 today!