Primary care is defined by the Institute of Medicine as “the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal healthcare needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients and practicing in the context of family and community.” Integrated care is comprehensive and addresses healthcare needs at stages throughout a patient’s life, coordinated and continuous over time.
What Is a Primary Care Physician?
Primary care practitioners include physicians who specialize in caring for all ages. Primary care providers treat a variety of illnesses and conditions, conduct health screenings and comprehensive physical exams, and provide primary, wellness and preventive healthcare. If you develop a health issue that requires specialty care, they will refer you to the appropriate specialist(s). Your care team may include the physician, nurse practitioner (NP) and/or medical assistant.
Comprehensive primary care services include, but are not limited to the following:
- Annual health and wellness exams
- Management of chronic diseases (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, depression or heart disease)
- Routine immunizations (flu, tetanus, pneumonia and others)
- Treatment of minor illnesses (i.e., allergies, colds, flu, sore throat, ear infections and more)
- Treatment of minor injuries (i.e., fractures, sprains, cuts, burns and more)
- Weight management
- Referral to specialists as needed
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Family Medicine?
These doctors (family practitioners) are widely skilled with training in the care of patients at every stage of life, from birth through childhood, adulthood and old age. In residency, a family practitioner receives training on caring for the whole family, including pediatrics and OB/GYN care. A family practitioner may be right for you if you are looking for a doctor for yourself and your children, or one who can transition your teen from his/her pediatrician to an adult primary care provider.
What are the benefits of having a primary care doctor?
Having a primary care doctor you see regularly is key to your overall health. Through regular visits, your primary care doctor gets to know you, your family history, and your lifestyle. You can develop a trusting relationship with your doctor that allows you to talk honestly and openly about your health concerns.
Your primary care doctor helps you stay healthy by providing regular checkups, preventative health care screenings, and vaccinations. They also can help you successfully manage life-threatening and “silent” medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes. When you need advanced or specialized care, your primary care doctor can connect you to highly-trained medical specialists.
What can I expect as a New Patient?
Our registration staff will ask you to fill out registration and health history forms. We ask that new patients arrive 30 mins before scheduled appointment time to complete your paperwork. These forms may be accessed by clicking here.
Do I need an appointment?
Yes, scheduled appointments allow us to dedicate our attention to each patient as required. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (256) 735-5075, Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.
We do provide same day appointments for urgent care needs when possible. Please call our office to schedule an appointment and we will make every attempt to accommodate your needs.
How early should I arrive for my scheduled appointment?
We ask you to arrive 15-minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. This allows ample time for check-in and the completion of any necessary paperwork. This is also a courtesy to the patients who have appointments following yours.
What if I need a referral?
If you need a referral, please contact our office to see if you need to schedule an appointment with your physician prior to the referral being issued. Your insurance company may require that your Primary Care Physician has seen you prior to being sent to a Specialist. Our office number is (256) 735-5075.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Please bring the following:
- Your insurance card
- Driver’s license
- Your co-pay/deductible if applicable
- All you medications you are currently taking
- A list of your past surgeries, allergies and health history
- A list of questions for your doctor if you have any
What should I do if I need treatment outside of the clinic’s regular business hours?
If you are sick outside of clinic hours and believe you may be in need of treatment, the Cullman Regional Urgent Care Center is open Monday – Friday from 9am to 9pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm. You can check-in online at CullmanRegionalCheckIn.com.
However, for illnesses and injuries that are considered life-threatening, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
What types of insurance do you accept?
We accept most insurance providers. We recommend patients contact their insurance company as each plan offers different levels of coverage. Please check the back of your insurance wallet card for contact telephone numbers.
What is a Nurse Practitioner (NP)
A registered nurse with advanced academic and clinical education and experience in the care of the sick and in diagnosis, treatment and management of common and chronic illnesses. They can diagnose and treat medical conditions, administer vaccinations and prescribe medications. NPs offer a holistic and wellness orientation that emphasizes health education, risk identification and reduction and preventive care through lifestyle modification.
Because of growing time demands on physicians and the shortage of doctors in numerous specialties, both PAs and NPs provide a high quality, skilled and practical option for many of your healthcare needs.
What is a Hospitalists?
Hospitalists are physicians and nurse practitioners who specialize in in-patient hospital care. This is a service requested by your physician, and the hospitalists will communicate with your physician regarding your care both during and after your discharge from the hospital.