Four reasons to choose a hospital-affiliated primary care physician

Looking for a new family doctor? Have you thought about how you are going to search for one?

Dr. Peter Rippey
Dr. Peter Rippey, family and sports medicine, at St. Joseph’s/Candler Primary Care located in Bluffton

Approximately 60 percent of older individuals choose their primary care physician based on the advice of a friend or family member. More than 50 percent of millennials, on the other hand, search online to find a doctor.

Primary care physicians are experts in disease prevention and chronic disease management.

“We are typically the physicians who conduct an annual wellness visit where we discuss ways to maintain good health and prevent disease such as maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise,” says Dr. Peter Rippey, family and sports medicine, at St. Joseph’s/Candler Primary Care located in Bluffton. “By regularly visiting a primary care physician, we can help prevent disease or catch diseases at an early phase when treatments are more effective.”

However you decide to choose a primary care physician, there are certain criteria you should consider that many people often ignore. Here are four of them:

1. Is the physician of your choice affiliated with the hospital of your choice?

This is an important question to ask yourself. If you live two miles from hospital X, but your doctor is affiliated with hospital Y located 10 miles away, it might make more sense to choose a doctor that is affiliated with the hospital that best ensures convenience and speedy treatment. Primary care physicians have close relationships with hospitalists, which are also primary care physicians based solely in the hospital. The hospitalists taking care of you will stay in constant contact with your outpatient primary care doctor to ensure you are getting the best treatment possible.

Related Article: What is a hospitalist? 

2. Insurance umbrella

A hospital-affiliated primary care physician has not only been thoroughly investigated by a hospital board and staff, but also is recognized by an insurer to be fully licensed and capable of delivering primary care. This may help decrease your risk of having to pay all or some of the bill yourself.

3. Streamlined and informed emergency department care

If you select a hospital-affiliated primary care physician and need to go to the emergency department for any care, your information will be in the system. This will help an ED physician that may be unfamiliar with you quickly get up to speed on your medical history.

4. Integrated care

Choosing a hospital-affiliated primary care physician provides a level of integrated care unmatched by physicians who are not affiliated. For example, if you need additional testing or hospitalization the experience is seamless. Additionally, hospital-affiliated physicians can refer you to hospital-affiliated specialists, such as cardiologist or podiatrist, or hospital services, such as medication management or outpatient rehabilitation.

Related Article: Here’s what you should look for when selecting a new primary care physician 

St. Joseph’s/Candler has 14 primary care practices in the region from Savannah to Hilton Head to Richmond Hill to Statesboro and in between. All our doctors are board certified. Services provided include complete physical exams, laboratory services, immunizations, IV therapies, cardiac function testing, pulmonary function tests and counseling on smoking cessation, weight control and diabetes.

Click here to learn more about our primary care physicians and individual locations. 

  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

Candler Hospital Campus: 912-819-6000