April 14

What Is An Integrative Primary Care Doctor

When it comes to healthcare, everyone wants to make the best choices for their family. But many people encounter frustrating issues when choosing a doctor.

Some of these problems include location, physician availability, and health insurance restrictions. Maybe a specific doctor doesn’t accept your insurance. Or perhaps you’re interested in a more comprehensive healthcare team.

An integrative primary care doctor might be the solution you’re looking for. But what is integrative wellness?

In this article, we’ll learn more about direct primary care and integrative wellness care. This offers you more ways to think outside the box when making your healthcare choices.


What Is an Integrative Primary Care Doctor?

Primary care doctors are your first point of contact with your healthcare team. These physicians treat minor illnesses and injuries. They also handle your annual physicals and referrals if you need a specialist.

These healthcare professionals are board-certified in internal medicine or general practice. But what if you’re looking for a more diverse healthcare team? Would you like to have more support from your physician?

This is where integrative primary care doctors step in. But some may ask, what is the meaning of integrative medicine?

Integrative primary care means your doctor focuses on your entire wellness. An integrative primary care doctor looks after your general physical health, but they also offer more services than other doctors.

Integrative medicine can include nutrition, acupuncture, and mental health services. Holistic care is a main focus, which is not always available with primary care services.

Many primary care doctors focus on a single problem or illness at a time. An integrative primary care doctor will address your main concern. But they’ll also focus on how that concern affects your entire body. Then they’ll determine what steps should be taken toward wellness.

More patients want to advocate for their own health. They also want to work with healthcare professionals who support that choice. This is one reason why an integrative primary care doctor could be right for you.


What Is Direct Primary Care?

Many people are frustrated with the healthcare system in the United States. Health insurance companies often make things more complicated than they should be.

Have you argued with your insurance company over a claim? Has your doctor prescribed a medication, but your insurance company won’t authorize it? Have you received a staggering bill because of an out-of-network issue?

If you’ve dealt with these problems, you’re not alone. More Americans are unhappy with their healthcare than ever.

And insurance companies are not helping.

Health insurance companies are just that, companies. Profits are their bottom line. Insurance companies strive to keep their costs low. But at what cost to you? If you’re not satisfied with your healthcare, your health insurance company could be to blame.

What if you could keep your insurance company out of some of your healthcare decisions? This is where direct primary care comes in.

Direct primary care doctors are different. They often don’t accept conventional insurance. Instead, they work directly with patients to offer varied payment options.

Some doctors offer a yearly cash plan. These plans can cover wellness visits, routine care, and in-house lab services. Others accept payment tailored to each service.

The benefits of direct primary care are many. You can expect a closer relationship with your physician. This leads to better health outcomes.

But the most important benefit is knowing that an outside party won’t come between you and your healthcare provider. Decisions made between you and your doctor stay between you and your doctor.

Direct primary care doctor in Maryland treating a patient


Is Direct Primary Care Cheaper?

Medical care is expensive. But did you know a significant part of the cost is administrative?

Healthcare providers must use specific team members solely to handle health insurance requirements. The staff deals with complex medical coding, insurance coverage restrictions, and more. Often one or more people only work on health insurance tasks.

You may only work with these team members when you’re in the middle of a dispute with your insurance company.

This adds to your doctor’s overhead expenses. And, unfortunately, the costs are passed to you.

Direct primary care physicians can cut these expenses. The results are lower costs for you and your doctor.


How Do Integrative Primary Care and Direct Primary Care Work Together?

Does your doctor think you might benefit from a massage? Has your doctor suggested acupuncture as part of your treatment? Has a nutritionist come up in conversation?

These are all valid treatment options. But the problem, again, lies with your health insurance company. In only a few instances will they cover these treatments.

An integrative care physician can often provide these procedures in-house. Their highly trained team understands the benefits of incorporating holistic treatment. But standard health insurance won’t cover it.

Direct primary care doctors can sidestep insurance protocols. A payment system between you and your provider is an easier alternative.

What happens when your direct primary care provider is also an integrative health specialist?

It’s simple. You and your doctor work together to create a healthcare plan that works for both of you. Your physician isn’t bound by health insurance constraints. This creates a more streamlined healthcare plan. You can also begin treatments sooner.

Waiting for approval from an insurance company can take weeks. When this step is eliminated, your treatment can start right away. This also means your doctor has more time to focus on your individualized care.

As an integrative medical specialist, your doctor can order specialized care. You can take advantage of various therapies, sometimes right in your doctor’s office.

And this is all made easy and transparent by the payment plan you and your doctor agree upon.

Acupuncture needles being inserted to a persons back


Should I Change My Healthcare Strategy?

Making a significant change to your healthcare plan requires careful thought. A patient/doctor relationship is an important one. You want to work with someone you trust.

But when cost becomes a factor, it might be time to look for alternatives. An integrative healthcare center can be the right choice for you.

A good first step is a phone call. The patient coordinator can tell you about the integrative wellness meaning and the treatments or therapies offered. They can also describe the various fee structures and what services are included.

This is a good way to gauge the dynamic of a clinic as well. Are they receptive to your questions? Are answers clear and easy to understand? Do they ask thorough questions about your medical history?

Another step is to schedule a consultation. Bring your medical records and have a conversation with the care provider and their team. Integrative wellness specialists are able to help manage a variety of medical conditions. They will carefully consider your healthcare needs and help you determine if this type of practice is right for you.

Direct primary care doctors can be a valuable asset to you and your health. With the addition of integrative care and wellness, you’ll feel comfortable knowing all your healthcare needs are met.


Better Choices

For too long people have been forced to make healthcare choices within the lines drawn by health insurance companies. Even something as simple as choosing a doctor is dictated by your health insurance company.

When health insurance is removed from the equation, more choices are available to you, and the power of choice is vital in healthcare.

As more and more people choose to be more involved in their own healthcare, we’re seeing a shift in the narrative. People have traditionally selected a doctor from the list provided by their insurance company. Now we’re seeing more people take these choices back.

When given a choice, most people feel more in control. When we apply this to healthcare, we see all kinds of great results. Patients are more satisfied with their healthcare. Treatment outcomes can be more successful when a patient feels empowered and involved.


Better Healthcare

Most doctors will agree that an involved patient is healthier and more informed. Taking an active role in your healthcare is critical.

If you’d like to shift away from insurance company-directed healthcare, now is the time for action. When you see an integrative primary care doctor who is also a direct primary care doctor, you are changing the narrative.

With better health and an improved relationship with your healthcare team, better results are waiting. Contact us in Mt. Airy, Maryland, today to learn more about our doctors and how our clinic could be right for you.


Tags

health and wellness, Primary care


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