Who is a Primary Care Provider?
You may be wondering what this new PCP term stands for in your healthcare plan. A primary care provider (PCP) is a medically trained professional that can have a number of different credentials such as MD, DO, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant. Any of these providers can be selected as your Primary Care Provider and will cover your total healthcare plan, coordinate or help you access a range of health care services, and is involved in your long-term care to optimize your health goals, all while using the best evidence-based medicine and resources available for you. A PCP is your main health care provider in non-emergency situations. Their role is to:
- Provide preventive care, empower you to take responsibility for your health, and give you self-management support you need to make healthy lifestyle choices
- Identify and treat common medical problems
- Prescribe medications and refill prescriptions
- Assess the urgency of your medical problems and direct you to the best place for that care
- Make referrals to medical specialists when necessary and work as a team to give you the best care
Primary care is most often provided in a clinic setting. However, if you are admitted to the hospital, your PCP may assist in or direct your care, depending on the circumstances.
Therefore, it is important to choose a PCP who can give you a healing, trusting, ongoing provider-patient relationship.