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Old 10-08-2023, 08:46 PM
 
336 posts, read 577,885 times
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I’m thinking about moving to Tucson from thr Albuquerque area. It is impossible to find primary care physicians in this area at all. Is there a problem in Tucson as well? I’d like to check into this before moving. What’s the best way to find a good PCP?
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Old 10-09-2023, 06:49 AM
 
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It takes time!

We bought our Tucson house in mid-May and I immediately called several doctors on my insurance company's provider list. The soonest appointment I could get with a PCP was October (in fact I saw her just last week).

My partner has a serious heart condition and in May called many cardiologists who consistently said a referral from a PCP was required. Even when informed of the delay in getting in to see a PCP, they all wanted the referral, despite the fact that our insurance does not require us to get referrals to see any specialist.

However Banner Heart Clinic asked who had diagnosed the heart condition; when told it was a Mexican cardiologist (we had been living in Mexico full-time since 2017) they asked us to scan and send all his records and tests (in Spanish of course). They gave my partner an almost immediate appointment, Echo, etc. Additionally the Banner provider reached out to the MX cardiologist and they communicate well via email and worked together on a treatment plan (we maintain our MX house and continue to go back and forth often).

I am very happy with my Banner PCP as well as having seen a Urology NP.

In 2013 we bought a home in Central Florida and went through the same PCP search, it wasn't quite as long a wait as now in Tucson, more like 2 or 3 months. However back then there was no 'demand' from specialists in FL to have a PCP referral to see them.

I believe the pandemic had a huge impact on persons deciding whether they wanted to practice medicine, especially as PCPs.

Last edited by Galeana; 10-09-2023 at 07:26 AM..
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Old 10-11-2023, 08:06 AM
 
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Tucson has several direct primary care (DPC) practices that are always looking for new patients. DPCs are typically independent of hospitals and IMO they offer better service and levels of care for minor injuries and ailments. The downside is the subscription fee which is typically $100-$200 a month.
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Old 10-11-2023, 09:59 AM
 
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Most of my health care costs are free thanks to Medicare and supplement. Why would I pay another premium (the monthly subscription)?

I pay $0 for PCP visits and $35 for specialists when needed. $0 for lab work and tests, $0 for radiology. My copays for prescriptions run between $0 and $30 for 90 day supply.

Sounds like DPC is for the un-insured or the under-insured??
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Old 10-11-2023, 10:04 AM
 
11,001 posts, read 6,860,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suaz View Post
I’m thinking about moving to Tucson from thr Albuquerque area. It is impossible to find primary care physicians in this area at all. Is there a problem in Tucson as well? I’d like to check into this before moving. What’s the best way to find a good PCP?
Wow, even in ABQ? I would live in NM if the healthcare were easily accessible. (I lived 90 miles from Santa Fe because the area I lived in was impossible to get a primary care doctor, and the hospital was horrible.) That's too bad. I don't know about Tucson but I loved Cigna when I lived in Phoenix. I plan to spend part of the winter in the Phoenix area and other areas, and I plan to use Cigna again if I need to. It seems like there would be good access in Tucson. I'll be curious as to answers here. You can always travel to PHX if need be.
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Old 10-11-2023, 10:48 AM
 
979 posts, read 519,755 times
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Can't blame you for leaving Abq, I moved from there to Tucson during COVID lockdowns, and will never set foot in that city ever again. Unbelievable amount of crime, drugs and crazies, it just gets worse and worse. While there, I went to First Nation Tribal at San Mateo and Zuni (you don't have to be tribal). Best health care I ever had, located in the worst area I've ever been in. The only things I miss from Abq are the art scene and food.

Tucson was not a good place for me regarding health care. I was with Carondelet Medical Group and never could find a decent doctor. I'm not sure what your situation is on this. I'm retired, and get the Medicare Advantage through United here in Little Rock. Highly recommend United! Wow, no complaints at all.
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Old 10-11-2023, 12:15 PM
 
5,151 posts, read 3,080,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galeana View Post
Most of my health care costs are free thanks to Medicare and supplement. Why would I pay another premium (the monthly subscription)?

I pay $0 for PCP visits and $35 for specialists when needed. $0 for lab work and tests, $0 for radiology. My copays for prescriptions run between $0 and $30 for 90 day supply.
Most doctors don’t like working for pocket change and maybe that’s why you’re having a hard time finding a PCP.
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Old 10-11-2023, 01:57 PM
 
104 posts, read 130,155 times
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Originally Posted by TimAZ View Post
Most doctors don’t like working for pocket change and maybe that’s why you’re having a hard time finding a PCP.
Wow, guess you don't understand insurance.

My copays (and premiums) are low because I have a generous plan through my ex-employer (retired). The docs/hospitals that participate AGREE to the insurer's prices.

The shortage of PCPs goes back to the pandemic when there was less interest in pursuing a medical career. I think the shortage will disappear in a few more years.

Banner is a wonderful group that runs the U of A Medical Centers. Hard to get into because, well, everyone wants to.
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Old 10-11-2023, 04:08 PM
 
11,001 posts, read 6,860,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimAZ View Post
Most doctors don’t like working for pocket change and maybe that’s why you’re having a hard time finding a PCP.
Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Plan G are not "pocket change." It pays 80/20 - full coverage.

I have 80/20 Supplemental Plan G. No trouble finding doctors. PCP's are disappearing in favor of specialists. That's what the issue is. Most people go to a specialist nowadays. I myself have a PCP that is really just a formality only. He owns an Urgent Care (practice is combined) and that's where most of the business comes from.
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Old 10-11-2023, 05:28 PM
 
5,151 posts, read 3,080,320 times
Reputation: 11036
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galeana View Post
Wow, guess you don't understand insurance.

My copays (and premiums) are low because I have a generous plan through my ex-employer (retired). The docs/hospitals that participate AGREE to the insurer's prices.

The shortage of PCPs goes back to the pandemic when there was less interest in pursuing a medical career. I think the shortage will disappear in a few more years.

Banner is a wonderful group that runs the U of A Medical Centers. Hard to get into because, well, everyone wants to.
I’m on Medicare supplemental under BCBS and I see the exact reimbursements for my treatments with specialists (My PCP owns a DPC practice). Typically the specialist bills $X for a visit and Medicare allows about $X/5. I’m sure the doctors would love to balance bill for the difference, but they’re not allowed to do that. Medicare pays PCPs chump change for wellness exams and referral consultations.

I pay the DPC $1068 a year and for that fee they provide an annual exam, common immunizations (tetanus, flu, etc.), prescriptions, blood tests, minor wound treatments including stitches, cryosurgery, consultations for referrals, and usually same-day appointments for medical things that come up unexpectedly.
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