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Access to Care

Access to care means you are able to visit your doctor regularly to help keep you from getting sick. For adults, seeing a doctor regularly can help you improve your overall health, manage health conditions and avoid a hospital or emergency room visit. For children and adolescents, preventive visits are also important for avoiding illness and promoting healthy behaviors.

Developing a strong relationship with a primary care doctor is an important way to show your commitment to health. Working with the same health care team over time allows you to get to know one another and helps them know important information about your ongoing health and health care.

Research shows that inappropriate care and overuse of expensive and potentially harmful tests can be reduced when doctors and well-informed patients work together on treatment decisions.

Being able to access health care services is necessary to your health. Make sure you and your family have access to the care each of you needs.

Compare scores for access to care

Family and doctor.

What can patients do?

  • Childhood and adolescence are important periods in a person’s development. Pediatricians recommend that children see their doctor for a preventive visit at least every year until age six and then every other year.
  • Adults have many of the same needs, such as receiving health screenings recommended at specific times.

What should your doctor do?

At a preventive or well-care visit you should expect:

  • A look at your child’s or adolescent’s growth and development.
  • Advice on health issues.
  • Recommended health screenings and vaccines.
  • To talk to your doctor about health concerns and healthy lifestyle choices.

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