A Primary Care Provider for Every Patient Initiative

A Primary Care Physician for Every Patient

“A Primary Care Physician for Every Patient” Initiative: Frequently Asked Questions

On January 1, 2013, United Family Healthcare (UFH) rolled out the “A Primary Care Physician for Every Patient” Initiative. This is one of the first of several initiatives to improve the care we provide our patients designed by UFH’s Center for Primary Care Practice and Education.

Why is United Family Healthcare pairing every patient to a primary care physician?

Primary care physicians help patients receive more effective and safe medical care by providing advice on individualized preventive care and coordinating healthcare services. Primary care physicians play an important role in what are called accountable care organizations (ACOs) and patient-centered medical homes (PCMH), both concepts that focus on improving patient care. Patients who identify one person and place where their medical history is known best have better health outcomes.

The United Family Healthcare network of hospitals and clinics has a dedicated team of well-trained primary care physicians. The primary care physician initiative is a complimentary service provided to all United Family Healthcare patients. Our goal is to realize the full potential of the primary care physician model. Patients can have a physician who will help them to navigate the healthcare system, and coordinate their care among various specialties.

(Institute of Medicine. Defining primary care: an interim report. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 1994. )

What type of doctor will my primary care physician be?

At United Family Healthcare facilities, we recommend physicians trained in general pediatrics, general internal medicine, or family medicine as primary care doctors. You will be paired with a primary care physician at your first visit.  You may change your primary care physician at any time by letting your physician, nurse, or receptionist know of your decision. We may limit the number of patients a primary care physician have on his/her panel to assure quality of care.

Will I have to see my primary care physician first before being referred to a specialist?

There will be no changes to patients’ access to specialists in the UFH system. The physician that ordered your tests or referrals will still be the one who will inform you of results and coordinate referrals they initiated. As usual, you should consult your insurer to understand their coverage policy on self-referral to specialty care.

What services will my primary care physician coordinate for me?

Although your primary care physician will not be able to see you for every visit, he/she will be able to keep track of your visits with other health care providers. For example, if you are admitted to the hospital, other physicians will let your primary care provider know how you are doing and what follow-ups will be needed after discharge.

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