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Why Primary Care Visits Are More Important Than Ever (and How We’re Making Them Easier Than Ever)

During the pandemic, we’ve seen far too many people skip their regular or necessary appointments with their primary care provider. For some people, it’s just been because they don’t want to leave the house in fear of catching COVID-19. For others, working from home and doing double-duty as a parent to kids who are home with us has made it far too difficult to get to the doctor’s office.

Unfortunately, these skipped appointments have had a real impact on people’s lives, and we’ve observed a growing trend of people putting off their appointments altogether for one reason or another. Here’s why that isn’t the best decision and what we’re doing to reverse that trend.

What Happens Without Regular Primary Care Visits

A primary care provider’s main focus is on keeping your health and wellness in check. He or she can be a great resource for whatever questions you have about your health as well as the first line of defense against potentially serious problems.

Of course, nothing about a person’s health is a one-and-done situation. There’s always value in regular check-ups because our bodies are always changing. This is even more true for those of us with chronic conditions like diabetes, COPD, etc.

For people with diabetes, the increased likelihood of skipping regular doctor’s appointments or choosing not to schedule an appointment when something is wrong has been devastating. More specifically, we’ve seen a rise in amputations among those who deal with chronic diabetic wounds — a life-changing procedure only done when all other options have been exhausted. This trend has correlated with a decrease in total appointments set with primary care providers.

Ultimately, the reality is this: A few reschedules here and there aren’t likely to be too detrimental to the health of most people, but putting regular visits off for too long can lead to more serious problems, especially if you deal with any type of chronic condition.

How We’re Making Regular Appointments Easier to Keep

We understand the challenges and pressures of life during a pandemic we’re still all adapting to, and we’re making it easier for you to keep your next appointment at UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care in La Plata. Here’s how:

  • Keeping you safe from COVID-19: We’re here to keep you healthy, so our team takes great care in protecting you and your family from getting sick. Our primary care practice has taken special measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 at our office by limiting physical contact, encouraging social distancing, requiring everyone to wear a mask, providing hand sanitizer, and more.
  • More convenient appointment hours: We know it’s not always easy or possible to take off work to make it to an appointment with your doctor. That’s why UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care offers more flexible hours on Tuesdays (7am-4:30pm) and Wednesdays (8am-7pm) to give you more options for appointment times.
  • Telemedicine options: If you don’t need in-person services, both Dr. Lorenzo Childress and our nurse practitioner Kelli Goldsborough, CRNP, are available for a telemedicine visit. That means you never have to leave the comfort and safety of your own home to get expert medical advice and recommendations from a trusted medical professional. Best of all, most insurance companies treat telemedicine visits just like in-person visits.

Want to schedule your next appointment at UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Primary Care? Call (301) 609-5044 today.

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