What to look for when choosing pediatric care in Wilmington, NC

Medicare completed a study that looked at changes in telehealth visits. Patients who utilized telehealth care increased from 840,000 visits in 2019 to 52.7 million at the end of 2021. Telehealth was a game-changer for more than Medicare patients.

Rural communities and at-risk patients opted for virtual visits instead of in-office. Newborns are one age group that can be at risk from visiting clinics, urgent care offices, and more. But have you wondered how you can find pediatric care that is cost-friendly and works for the entire family?

Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on qualities to look for in pediatric care and how you can find the best family medicine office in Wilmington, so keep reading for more information!

What Is Pediatric Care?

Pediatric care or pediatrics is a specialized medical field that focuses on providing diagnostics and treatments for newborns, adolescents, and teenagers. Some practices may include pediatric treatment for young adults until they reach 21.

Most physicians who specialize in this level of care are pediatricians. However, family physicians also receive extensive training in pediatrics. What do pediatricians and family physicians focus on?

  • Physical exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Injury treatment
  • Emotional and social development
  • Physical development
  • Health, wellness, and nutritional advice
  • Treating various medical conditions
  • Connecting to specialists if needed

Family Doctor vs. Pediatrician

A general practitioner or family doctor can be used for pediatric care. Pediatricians and family doctors are both physicians who completed medical school. A family doctor generally receives broader training for treatment across all age groups. While this makes them less specialized in more complex pediatric disorders, they still have a foundational knowledge of treating, diagnosing, and caring for kids. Pediatricians generally focus only on children, and receive additional training or fellowships in a pediatric specialty.

One advantage of establishing a relationship with a family physician that cares for kids and adults, is that it eliminates the need for your child to find a new doctor once they are young adults. Most pediatricians will only care for children and youth until they are age 18-21.

Why Your Child Needs Qualified Medical Care

Whether it’s a family doctor or pediatrician, your child can benefit from a reputable practice for a few different reasons. First, newborns require vaccinations, wellness checks, and much more during their first year of life. Next, children grow rapidly, and there are several developmental milestones that they should be hitting.

Developmental milestones can be anything from learning how to walk to proper social development. Many of these milestones begin at two months and last until five years old. Regular visits are recommended so that your child’s doctor can identify barriers or potential risk factors that may be limiting normal development.

Choosing a Pediatrician or Family Doctor

What qualities should you look for in your child’s doctor? Here are a few things to consider:

  • New patient availability
  • Experience and level of training (Board Certified Medical Doctor vs. mid-level such as a Physicians Assistant)
  • Hours
  • Location
  • Ease of access to child’s doctor outside of office hours
  • Telehealth options
  • Specialized care options or referrals
  • Online reviews
  • Procedure and service options
  • Staff personality
  • Family-friendly environment

When you call or meet with your child’s physician, don’t be afraid to ask how long they’ve been practicing medicine or how much time (on average) they spend with their patients. It’s helpful to find a physician for your child that is thorough, knowledgeable and a good listener.

It is also helpful to ask if you can expect to see a physician (and the same physician) each visit and the same physician, or if you may see a physician assistant or other mid-level clinician.

Lastly, ask how medical questions or emergencies that come up outside of regular office hours are handled.

Pediatrician or Family Care in Wilmington

Have you tried finding pediatric or family practices in Wilmington?

Promina Health is a family medicine practice that offers various medical services for kids and adults. Pediatric services include:

  • Well-child checks, beginning at birth
  • Sick visits (same-day or next-day)
  • Virtual visits
  • Home visits (based on physician availability)
  • Sports physicals
  • Sutures and other procedures (including dermatological and gynecological)
  • Abscess treatments
  • Nutrition and wellness counseling
  • Chronic disease management
  • Prescription medications available right from the office
  • Secure texting platform used to communicate with your child’s physician throughout the day
  • And more

Promina Health uses membership pricing for its services, which means that all pediatric care visits– well-child visits, sick visits, school/sport physicals, diagnostic testing, procedures such as wound repair or sutures, telehealth visits, in-office, and any other visit!–are included in your child’s monthly membership.

How Does Promina Health Work?

Promina Health is a unique family medicine practice in Wilmington for a few reasons. First, your entire family will see a board-certified family physician (not a mid-level provider) each and every visit, who is trained to care for infants, kids, teens and adults. Second, Promina Health Direct Primary Care can care for you no matter what type of insurance you have, or if you have no insurance.

Promina Health uses membership pricing for its services. Patients of Promina Health receive all of their visits and their physician’s professional services for a flat monthly rate (children are $49/month). The benefits of a transparent self-pay membership model include:

  • No co-pays
  • No deductibles
  • Upfront pricing
  • Direct pricing on labs, prescriptions, and radiology
  • Multiple enrollment options

Adult pricing starts at $69 per month, and infants and children (up to 21) are only $25 per month when they’re added to an adult membership. Pediatric care lasts from newborn to 21 years old and ranges from $25 to $49 per month. A one-time enrollment fee of $100 (for an individual) or $150 (for a family) is administered on your first visit, and you will receive monthly charges based on your enrollment plan after that.

Is There a Limit on Visits?

A Promina Health membership does not limit you to a maximum number of visits. Child and adult memberships include unlimited visits. Promina Health patients also get around-the-clock access to their physician via phone and a secure texting app. (They know how middle-of-the-night health scares feel, so they offer parents, and other patients, the ability to call their physician directly at anytime of the day!)

And you don’t have to wait for months to get an appointment! Same and next-day appointments are available to established patients. Promina Health patients also enjoy longer appointment times so they don’t feel rushed.

Your Promina Health family physician may even provide home visits if needed. For example, if you have a newborn, your physician may come to your house to provide care and screening for your baby instead of scheduling an in-office visit. (Note: Home visits are scheduled based on need and physician availability.)

Does Direct Primary Care Save us Money on Pediatric Care?

Let’s break down Promina Health’s pricing to better understand how it can save you money on your child’s medical care. Children (up to age 21) can join Promina Health for $49 per month. If you enroll as a patient (adult membership), your child’s membership is only $25 per month. A one-time enrollment fee of $100 (for an individual) or $150 (for a family) is applied at the first visit.

After the one-time enrollment fee, you will pay under $100 for yourself and a child. With two adults and a child, it will cost around $163. Patients do NOT pay a co-pay and the monthly membership is not applied toward a deductible.

Co-pays vary widely, but even if it’s $30 per visit, those costs add up. And who knows what other expenses you’ll incur, since the cost of services are not transparent and the insurance company sets a “negotiated” rate with the physician’s office. Many families also have high deductibles (those out-of-pocket expenses before anything is covered). Deductibles vary widely, but some are $5,000-$10,000 before coverage starts.

At Promina Health Direct Primary Care, your membership covers all of your visits and their services, without a co-pay or a claim toward your deductible being applied.  Pricing is also transparent for prescription medications or outside services–such as x-rays or imagining– so you have the peace of mind that your health care costs are predictable.

Insurance is not required at Promina Health, but if you have insurance, you can still use it for emergencies–such as hospitalization– or larger, unexpected medial expenses, as you normally would.

Because you get thorough, personalized care at Promina Health, the need for specialist visits and urgent care or emergency room visits is significantly reduced, which can potentially save you thousands each year.

What if My Child Needs Specialized Pediatric Care?

Many parents worry about specialized pediatric care. After all, newborns and children have different needs than adults.

While pediatricians and family doctors have vast experience in newborn and pediatric care, there may be health needs that require specialty care. Ask your child’s doctor how they handle referrals if one was needed.

At Promina Health Direct Primary Care, your physician has access to hundreds of specialists across the country, who they are able to consult if needed. If a specialist is needed, your child’s physician will make recommendations, with cost and convivence in mind. And once the referral is made, your child’s physician at Promina Health will be there for you every step of the way–from making sure the appointment is scheduled, to communicating with the specialist to ensure the care plan is coordinated and complete.

A Family Practice for Everyone

Pediatric care is essential for your child’s growth and development , and helps prevent long-term complications or illnesses.

Promina Health offers cost-friendly, easy-to-access, personalized medical care for your child, and the entire family. Ready to get started? Whether you have a newborn, toddler, or teenager, they have you covered.

Sign up on our website today and schedule your next appointment.