Why is Primary Care Important?
Primary care is care provided by physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners who are specialists in family medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics and are skilled in providing continuing care, health maintenance, disease prevention, health education, and diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses. Primary care providers take an ongoing responsibility for the comprehensive care of their patients and act as the patients’ advocate in the healthcare system.
Primary care is important for the continual and long-term health of a patient. Patients should visit their primary care provider at least annually for health check-ups. These wellness visits may include screenings, immunizations, and other resources to promote good health, year after year. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, adults with established primary care are more likely to receive “high value” services compared to those without primary care. “High value” services may include regular cancer screenings, diagnostic testing, and diabetes checkups.