By: Physicians Alliance of Connecticut
Whether you just moved to Connecticut, recently changed health insurance, or looking to switch primary care providers (PCP), sifting through all the available options in your area can be overwhelming. To find the best primary care doctor in CT for you, knowing what to look for and questions to ask will help shorten your search and find the resource required to support your medical needs.
The Need for a Primary Care Doctor
Given the accessibility of urgent care facilities, many people ask, “do I even need a PCP?” The answer is “Yes.” Your PCP is usually your first point of contact when you have a medical issue. They’ll have the most complete and accurate view of your medical history and health goals, as well as an established baseline of your health so that they can more easily identify anything out of the ordinary during your care.
A primary care physician takes ongoing responsibility for providing a patient’s comprehensive care. One of the main types of care PCPs deliver is preventative care. Preventive care helps stop illness before it starts. A primary care doctor can also treat common illnesses and help manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Primary care doctors perform routine check-ups, immunizations, bloodwork, and can treat minor infections. If you need specialized care, your primary care provider will often refer you to a specialist within their network. While not all health insurance plans require a referral to see a specialist, your PCP may evaluate your needs first so they can coordinate your ongoing care with the specialist.
Narrowing Down Your PCP Search
As you look for the best primary care doctors in CT, you may be tempted to choose the first one with availability and who is within your insurance network. However, there are other important factors to consider, especially when you think about the possible long term nature of the relationship.
Here are some factors to consider as you’re evaluating a new PCP:
1. Do they accept your insurance?
One of the main things to consider when choosing a PCP is whether they take your insurance. Although you may be able to afford paying out-of-pocket, over time doctor’s visits can add up quickly, especially if you have a chronic condition. As a first step, ask your insurance company for a list of CT doctors near you who accept your plan. Be sure to confirm your eligibility with the doctor’s office in case something has changed.
2. Do they meet your health needs?
Primary care doctors often specialize in either internal medicine or family medicine. Internal medicine doctors, also called internists, generally treat adult patients. They specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and managing diseases and chronic conditions. On the other hand, family medicine doctors treat patients from newborns to the elderly. They are qualified to treat a broad range of ailments, including some you would usually see a specialist for. Other primary care physicians include pediatricians, who care for children and adolescents, and obstetricians and gynecologists, who specialize in women’s health.
3. Are evening and weekend appointments available? Is telemedicine an option?
For many working adults, finding a convenient time to see the doctor during typical office hours is difficult. To create more flexibility, ask if the provider offers telehealth appointments and/or if appointments are available after 5PM and/or on weekends.
4. Who will you see if they’re not available?
Sometimes your doctor may not be available when you need an appointment. If that happens, does the practice have someone else who can see you? If so, you want to make sure you are comfortable with the other provider’s credentials and specialty of care.
Finding the Best Primary Care Doctors in CT
If you don’t have a PCP, you might be surprised to find out how difficult it can be to establish care. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the United States will experience an estimated shortage of up to 48,000 PCPs by 2034. Even when you do establish care, it can be difficult to get a timely appointment because of the sheer number of patients needing an appointment.
If you’re looking for the best primary care doctors in CT, PACT can help. We are a multi-specialty medical group that is led and operated by over 30 physician partners and more than 100 healthcare providers. We are committed to healthcare excellence, innovation, safety, and quality in private-practice patient care in the New Haven area of Connecticut. PACT partners with Hartford HealthCare, Connecticut’s most comprehensive healthcare network. Search for a primary care provider near you today using our online physician directory.
How to Find PCP in Connecticut? Start Here.
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Locations throughout Connecticut in Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Milford, New Haven, Orange, West Haven, and Wallingford.
To schedule an appointment, request an appointment online here or call a local center near you.