Tips for picking a primary care physician and preparing for your first appointment

Your primary care physician is your partner in health.

Your primary care physician, also called your PCP, coordinates all of your care and is affiliated with both your plan medical group and your plan network.


Why your primary care physician is important

Think of your primary care physician as your “home base”— the person who is most familiar with your health history and needs, and who keeps in contact with other physicians or team members who may provide you with care.

Your primary care physician is:

  • The doctor you’ll see for your annual checkup and routine care.
  • Your first resource if you need advice about any health concerns, injuries or illnesses.
  • The person who coordinates all the care you receive from other doctors, and the one who will refer you to see other physicians if needed, like specialists.

3 tips to help you choose or change your PCP

Because your primary care physician coordinates all of your care, it’s a good idea to pick a PCP you feel comfortable with. We know picking a PCP is a personal decisions, which is why we make it easy for you to change your selection at any time by following these 3 easy steps:

1

Use our online provider directory.

Find a doctor at sharphealthplan.com/findadoctor. You can narrow down your search by filtering your results by location, language preferences, gender and more.

2

Make your selection online or over the phone.

Log in to your Sharp Connect account at sharphealthplan.com/login to select or change your PCP online. You can also contact Customer Care at customer.service@sharp.com or 1-800-359-2002 to update your PCP over the phone. In most cases, your selection will be effective the first day of the following month.

3

Look out for your new member ID card in the mail.

When you change your PCP, you’ll receive a new member ID card with updated information. Your network, plan medical group and primary care physician will all be listed on the front of your new member ID card. Be sure to carry it with you and present it whenever accessing care.


4 tips to prepare for your first PCP appointment

Before your first appointment with your primary care physician, it’s a good idea to follow these 4 simple steps to ensure that you have everything you need.

1

Transfer your medical records — especially if you’re new to Sharp — so your PCP will have a better understanding of your medical history.

2

Download our free preventative care checklists to help make sure your needs are met. Remember, a free preventive care visit is covered at $0 under your benefits every year.

3

Bring a list of any medications that you’re taking. A medication regimen isn’t something you can set and forget. You and your doctor need to keep tabs on what you're taking and how it's affecting your health. Sometimes things change between visits, and adjustments to your medications may be needed. 

4

Consider taking our free online Best Health® Wellness Assessment. The assessment evaluates eight areas of health: preventive health, nutrition, physical activity, sleep, emotional well-being, safety, tobacco and nicotine exposure, alcohol use and readiness to change. Your responses are used to personalize recommendations to help you achieve and maintain optimal well-being. You can then review these areas of opportunities and recommendations with your doctor. 

If you have any other questions for your doctor, jot them down so you don’t forget to address them in your appointment. Don’t be shy! Your doctor is your partner in health.


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