Get the Answers You Need to These Important Questions!
A Medical Home is where you chose to go for your primary care, which includes well care visits as well as your non-emergency situations. It is always best to choose a Medical Home and go for a well visit before you get sick. This way you can comfortably complete the paperwork necessary to establish yourself by sharing your medical history and meeting the provider and staff.
- A Medical Home Provider is a medical practice in your community, either a single provider or a group of providers.
- A Medical Home Provider knows you, your medical history, and your family history. Building a trusting, ongoing relationship is key to your continued good health. You can choose from several different types of Medical Home Providers:
Family Practitioners are doctors who have completed a family practice residency and are board certified, or board eligible, for this specialty. The scope of their practice includes children and adults of all ages and may include obstetrics and minor surgery.
Pediatricians are doctors who have completed a pediatric residency and are board certified, or board eligible, in this specialty. The scope of their practice includes the care of newborns, infants, children, and adolescents.
Internists are doctors who have completed a residency in internal medicine and are board certified, or board eligible, in this specialty. The scope of their practice includes the care of adults of all ages for many different medical problems.
Rural Health Clinics are located in rural or non-urbanized areas. They are required to provide all the services listed below and offer even more services depending on the needs of the community.
• Primary Health Care Services
• Basic Lab Services
• Emergency Care Services
• After Hours Coverage
• Hospital/Specialty Care
Federally Qualified Health Care Clinics (FQHCs) are clinics that must serve a Medically Underserved Area (MUA) or Medically Underserved Population (MUP). FQHCs must provide primary care services for all age groups. FQHCs must provide preventive health services on site or by arrangement with another provider. Other requirements that must be provided directly by an FQHC or by arrangement with another provider include: dental services, mental health and substance abuse services, transportation services necessary for adequate patient care, hospital and specialty care.
Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Physician Assistants (PA) are practitioners who go through a different training and certification process than doctors. They are often referred to as "physician extenders." They may be your key contact in some practices. Some of them may practice in their own office but are required to consult with physicians.
Your Medical Home provider should assist you as follows:
- Provide preventive care
- Identify and treat common medical conditions
- Suggest healthy lifestyle choices
- Assess the urgency of your medical problems and direct you to the best place for that care
- Make referrals to medical specialists when necessary
In choosing a Medical Home that is right for you or your loved one, consider the following:
- Is the office conveniently located and are their hours appropriate to meet your needs?
- Is the staff friendly and helpful?
- Are translator services available if you need this service?
- Is the office good about returning calls?
- Do you prefer a provider whose communication style is friendly and warm, or more formal?
- Do you prefer a provider focused on disease treatment, or wellness and prevention?
- Does the provider have a conservative or aggressive approach to treatment?
- What do colleagues and patients say about the provider?
- Does the provider invite you to be involved in your care? Does the provider view your patient-doctor relationship as a true partnership?
If you have not seen your chosen Medical Home Provider and you get sick, it is usually best to seek non-emergency care if possible rather than go to hospital emergency room for care.