How to Change Primary Care Physicians

Dr. Brad Brown
February 13, 2024
5 min read

Although many of us like consistency, there are times when you need to see a new doctor. Maybe you’ve been seeing a physician for years, but they decided to retire. Perhaps you don’t feel like your current doctor has the bandwidth to give you the personal attention you deserve.

If that’s the case, it’s time to change primary care physicians. 

But how do you navigate the process? Under the traditional system, you need to make sure that the doctor has the expertise for your situation, your insurance has them in the network, and the practice is accepting new patients.

It’s a lot to juggle, but Strive Direct Health is here to help. Whether you’re moving to a new area, seeking a specialist, or simply not satisfied with your current provider, we’re here to guide you in the right steps. 

Of course, you could skip the usual process altogether. Yes, there’s a simpler way to change primary care physicians. We’ve removed most of the steps that usually go into changing a doctor. Our process is easy and convenient. The answer is direct primary care, and we will get to that at the end.

Why Change Primary Care Physicians?

The decision to change your primary care physician, or PCP, should not be taken lightly. It’s essential to assess your reasons for seeking a new provider and ensure that the change aligns with your healthcare needs and preferences. Some common reasons for changing your primary care physician may include the following:

  • Relocation: If you’re moving to a new city or neighborhood, you’ll likely need to find a new PCP within your insurance network.

  • Specialist Referral: You may require specialized care for a particular medical condition that your current PCP cannot provide.

  • Dissatisfaction: If you’re not satisfied with the level of care, communication, or accessibility of your current PCP, it may be time to explore other options.

  • Retirement: Doctors can’t practice forever. Some decide to retire, which means you’ll need a new doctor.

How to Change a Primary Care Provider within the Regular Healthcare System

Step 1: Researching Potential Providers

Once you’ve determined the need to change your primary care physician, the next step is to research potential providers within your insurance network. Most insurance companies offer online directories or provider search tools that allow you to find doctors and clinics that accept your insurance plan. Consider the following factors when evaluating potential providers:

  • Location: Choose a PCP whose office is conveniently located and easily accessible from your home or workplace.

  • Specialties and Services: Assess whether the provider offers the services and specialties you require, such as preventive care, chronic disease management, or women’s health services.
  • Patient Reviews and Ratings: Look for patient reviews and ratings to gain insights into the provider’s communication style, bedside manner, and overall patient satisfaction.

Step 2: Contacting Your Insurance Company

Before scheduling an appointment with a new PCP, it’s crucial to verify that they accept your insurance plan. Contact your insurance company either by phone or through their website to confirm the provider’s network status. Be prepared to provide your insurance policy information and the name of the provider you’re considering.

Step 3: Scheduling an Appointment

Once you’ve confirmed that the new PCP accepts your insurance plan, you can schedule an appointment for an initial consultation. Sometimes this is easier said than done. Many practices have extraordinarily long wait lists. Some aren’t accepting new patients at all. You might not get your first choice of PCP if you need to establish care immediately. 

Some providers may require you to fill out new patient forms or provide medical records from your previous PCP, so be sure to inquire about any necessary documentation beforehand.

During your initial appointment, take the time to discuss your medical history, current health concerns, and treatment preferences with the new PCP. This will help establish a foundation for ongoing care and ensure that your new provider has a comprehensive understanding of your healthcare needs.

Step 4: Notifying Your Previous PCP

After establishing care with your new PCP, it’s courteous to notify your previous primary care provider of your decision to change. This can typically be done by calling the office and requesting that your medical records be transferred to your new provider. Medical records transfer is essential for ensuring continuity of care and allowing your new PCP to have access to your complete health history.

Step 5: Following Up and Adjusting

After your initial appointment with your new PCP, it’s essential to follow up as needed and communicate any concerns or changes in your health status. Building a trusting and collaborative relationship with your new provider may take time, so be patient and open to the process.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to reassess your decision if you encounter any issues or feel that the new provider is not meeting your expectations. Your health and well-being are paramount, and it’s important to advocate for yourself to ensure that you receive the highest quality care possible.

Simplify the Process with DPC

What if you could skip a few steps and change primary care physicians much easier? You can with Strive Direct Health and other DPC practices. In recent years, a growing number of individuals have turned to direct primary care as an alternative healthcare model that offers simplicity, accessibility, and personalized attention. 

Unlike traditional insurance-based practices, DPC operates on a membership-based model, where patients pay a flat monthly fee in exchange for unlimited access to their primary care physician. This approach not only simplifies the healthcare experience but also makes changing primary care physicians remarkably easy. Just sign up for a membership, and you’re in.

The membership comes with many other perks.

  • Streamlined Enrollment Process

    Signing up for a Direct Primary Care membership is straightforward. Instead of navigating complex insurance websites and worrying about in-network providers, individuals simply need to enroll in the DPC practice of their choice. At Strive Direct Health, for example, all it takes is signing up for a membership and scheduling your first appointment.
  • Minimal Wait Times

    One of the frustrations often associated with traditional primary care practices is long wait times for appointments. Direct Primary Care practices such as Strive Direct Health keep caseloads intentionally low to ensure that patients receive timely care without encountering frustrating wait lists. This means that when you need to see your physician, you can typically schedule an appointment without delay, allowing for prompt attention to your healthcare needs.
  • No Insurance Hassles

    Since Direct Primary Care practices do not rely on insurance reimbursement, patients are freed from the complexities of insurance networks and coverage limitations. With a flat monthly fee, individuals gain unlimited access to their physician, regardless of insurance status. This eliminates the need to verify in-network status or navigate insurance bureaucracy, simplifying the process of changing primary care physicians.
  • Unlimited Access to Your Physician

    One of the hallmarks of the Direct Primary Care model is the emphasis on building strong doctor-patient relationships. With unlimited access to your physician for a flat monthly fee, you can feel confident knowing that your healthcare needs are a priority. Whether you need a routine check-up, have a pressing medical concern, or simply want to discuss your health goals, your DPC physician is readily available to provide personalized care and guidance.

Learn More about Direct Primary Care with Strive Direct Health

If you’re tired of navigating the complexities of traditional healthcare, need to change your primary care physician, or are seeking a simpler, more patient-centered approach, consider exploring the direct primary care model with Strive Direct Health. With a focus on accessibility, affordability, and personalized care, we are committed to empowering individuals to take control of their health and well-being. Visit our website or contact us today to learn more about how direct primary care can revolutionize your healthcare experience. 

We are based in the Denver area with clinics in Erie and Westminster. If you don’t live in this area, do a little research to find a DPC practice in your area. We’re becoming more and more popular each year. Finally, work with a physician who knows you and prioritizes your health.

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Dr. Brad Brown
February 13, 2024

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