Do you really need an establish care visit?

Do you really need an establish care visit?

There are times in your life where you may need to change doctors. A relocation, financial issues, changes in your insurance plan, or when a provider is no longer suiting your needs all could have you searching for a new primary care doctor.  

Your relationship with your doctor is vital to ensuring effective health care and continuity in your treatment. That’s why when you see a new doctor, it’s important to schedule an establish care visit. 

“An establish care visit sets the foundation of your relationship with your new doctor,” says Dr. Heidi Brookenthal, a family medicine physician at Advocate Health Care. “Trust is a crucial part of the doctor-patient relationship. Meeting your new doctor in a personal setting allows for the development of a rapport, ensuring open communication in future appointments.”  

An established care visit, sometimes referred to as a “meet and greet” or “initial consultation,” is the first appointment you have with a new doctor within the same medical facility or practice where you were previously seen by another doctor. While you are not new to the facility, you are new to this specific doctor, so an established care visit can be beneficial.  

“Each doctor, despite having access to the same medical records and resources, brings a unique approach to care,” Dr. Brookenthal adds. “An established care visit gives your doctor a chance to familiarize themselves with you personally, not just through medical records.” 

Some other reasons an establish care visit is important include: 
  • Updating your health status: Your health can change over time. An establish care visit gives your new doctor an opportunity to review your current health status and discuss any new concerns, symptoms or changes since your last appointment. 
  • Comprehensive assessment: While medical records provide historical data, a new doctor might discover something that they would like to investigate further. 
  • Current medications and treatment plans: The visit ensures your new doctor is up to date with your medications, allergies and ongoing treatments, ensuring no potential conflicts or overlooked details. 

If you’re due for a physical exam, you may want to combine it with your annual checkup. Whether or not you can combine an establish care visit with your physical exam depends on the medical facility or your doctor’s policies.  

Another factor to consider is your time. An established care visit and an annual checkup can be extensive. Combining both might result in a lengthy appointment. Some doctors might prefer to keep them separate to ensure that both visits are thorough. 

There might also be differences in how insurance companies bill for an established care visit versus an annual checkup. It’s essential to clarify with both the medical facility and your insurance provider to avoid unexpected costs. 

While it might seem unnecessary or redundant to have an established care visit when transitioning to a new doctor, it plays a vital role in maintaining the quality of your health care. It’s always good practice to communicate openly with your new doctor and discuss any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health or the transition. 

Do you need a physical exam? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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Michael Adams