For New Patients
Welcome to the PrimeCare Family!
In this section, you will learn specific steps you need to take as a new PrimeCare patient, and what you can expect during your first appointments.
Have Insurance? Need Insurance?
If you have insurance and are interested in becoming a PrimeCare patient, you may need to check to see if your insurer is one that PrimeCare accepts.
If you want to see if PrimeCare accepts your insurance:
- Click here. This will take you to the Affordability section
- Under the first heading, Insurance, you will find a list of insurances that PrimeCare accepts.
PrimeCare accepts all patients, regardless of their ability to pay, and we offer financial assistance for those who need it. In addition, you should know that the new insurance marketplace gives you a wide range of affordable options for quality healthcare insurance, and that regulations within the Affordable Care Act require you to get insurance or pay a fine.
If you don’t have insurance and want to get it, call our Outreach & Enrollment team:
- For assistance in English or Spanish, call (312) 491-5086.
- For assistance in English, Polish, Ukrainian or Russian, call 312-633-5839
- One of our trained Navigators will walk you through the process.
New Patient Orientation
As a new PrimeCare patient, you’ll want to become familiar with our approach to care, so that you can make the most out of every visit. New patients learn about PrimeCare in two ways: directly from your care team on your initial visit, or through educational materials we’ll provide to you. If you have questions, you can always call a team member for clarification. Here are some important terms and procedures:
The Patient-Centered Medical Home: Also known as PCMH, this is an evidence-based approach to care that make your needs and preferences the top priority. This means the process of care is patient-driven, not provider-driven. For a full explanation of this model, click here to watch this video from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative:
The Care Team: The PCMH model provides you with access to a whole support team, not just a provider. To find out who’s on your team, view our PCMH Team Members, or click here for a more detailed description.
A care team will function most effectively if they know everything about your health and the factors that affect it. On your first visit, you will be asked to provide a comprehensive medical history that includes not only current issues but also past illnesses and conditions, a medications history, and information about any other providers – particularly specialists – from whom you have received care.
If you have worked with other providers or specialists, the care team will want to have any records from that treatment. They will give you a PrimeCare Consent Authorization Form that asks you to allow us to get that information from your other providers. This release works two ways – when your PrimeCare provider refers you to a specialist, it allows us to provide that doctor with relevant information that led to the referral in the first place.
Selecting a Health Center and a Provider Team
Pick a Health Center: PrimeCare has five convenient locations on Chicago’s Northwest Side. One of our health centers is school-based, at Marine Leadership Academy, and primarily serves the school’s students. It does offer hours for community members as well. Click here to get information about locations, hours, and staff, and choose the clinic that best serves your needs.
Make the First Appointment: We offer three ways to request an appointment. Click here for information.
Find a Provider: When you arrive at your clinic of choice, front desk staff will assign you to an available Primary Care Provider (PCP). If, after your first visit or any visit thereafter, you wish to see a different PrimeCare PCP – either at your clinic of choice or a different health center – you can easily request a change and staff will work out the details.
Making Appointments and Getting Advice
PrimeCare is committed to giving you access to healthcare when you need it.
Health Center Hours: All of PrimeCare’s health centers are open during normal business hours during the week. They also provide appointment slots on Saturdays and weekday evenings. Click here to see the hours of operation for the clinic of your choice. Click here to find out how to make an appointment.
If you can’t get in to see your provider at your preferred time and don’t wish to wait for the next available appointment, you are welcome to see one of our other providers, at your clinic of choice, even at one of our other health centers, if time is of the essence and a slot is open elsewhere. Thanks to our systems, your records will be available to any provider in our network.
Get Clinical Advice:
For those times when you wish to contact your provider to get clinical advice, we offer several options:
Individuals who have signed up for our Patient Portal can send a provider a message any time day or night. Simply log into your account, and click on “Send a message to your doctor’s office” to write to your provider. You will get a response by the end of the next business day.
If you call with a self-identified acute problem, you are directly transferred to a nurse care manager or provider. Non-urgent telephone messages, including medication refills are transferred to the nurse care manager, care coordinator pool and will be addressed in three business days.
Primary Care Services: PrimeCare provides the full range of services that are integral to the Family Medicine model, including preventive medicine, routine and urgent care, as well as chronic disease management for adults, women’s health service, prenatal/postpartum care, children services, and case management, using evidence-based practices. Click here for a complete listing of services and here for a more detailed description.
Behavioral Health Services: Our behavioral health care team is fully integrated into the PCMH model. In addition to offering individual counseling for mood, anxiety and stress disorders, our counselors work closely with your primary care, providing support and resources for making lifestyle changes necessary to attain and maintain good health. For those with chronic conditions and complex conditions – such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease – behavioral health staff assist the patient and care team in developing personalized care plans that address the impact of emotions and motivation on physical health.
In addition to direct medical and behavioral health care, we offer patient and family education, and provide you with the knowledge and skills to self-manage your own health care.
Care Coordination and Transitions
Whether you have are admitted to the hospital for treatment, go to the Emergency Room with a life-threatening condition, see a specialist for a specific problem, or get blood work or an MRI, PrimeCare coordinates your care across all these settings. Thanks to our new Electronic Health Records System, we can easily coordinate care across all of your providers, and ensure that your medical services will remain consistent and uninterrupted.
All of your history, diagnoses, medications, referrals and other information are in our electronic system and are instantly available to your team. Your team will also track your referrals to specialists and other care providers outside of PrimeCare to ensure that your doctor here and external members of your team have all the information they need.
Be sure that your care team knows about your interactions with other providers, and that you have signed the release forms (PrimeCare Consent Authorization Form) so that all of your team – at PrimeCare and beyond – have the information needed to provide top-quality healthcare.