Living with a chronic illness is different than addressing an acute health issue. Whereas acute ailments can be "fixed" (i.e. cure a patient from infection, heal a patient from an injury), chronic health issues cannot. Instead, chronic conditions must be addressed as long-lasting syndromes, which are just as likely to cause future problems as they are present-day ones.

Unfortunately, 6 in 10 adults - many of them elderly - live with a chronic illness in the United States. 4 in 10 adults have two or more chronic conditions. Examples of chronic illnesses can include heart disease, chronic lung disease, Alzheimer's, and diabetes. All of these are health issues that interfere with one’s ability to live life normally, i.e. to follow a typical routine without difficulty. Worse, these illnesses take time and energy to address - yet most primary care physicians do not have the time or staffing resources to help patients effectively manage their chronic illnesses.

Fortunately, Family Matters Direct Primary Care (or Family Matters DPC) is not like other primary care offices. We are a physician-owned family medicine practice that eliminates the costs and hassle of traditional medical care, improves the doctor-patient relationship, offers discounted labs and medications, and provides improved physician access. With that in mind, we invite those struggling with a chronic ailment to consider utilizing our practice as a chronic illness management resource. We can ensure you have access to the screenings, check-ups, monitoring, coordinated treatments, and educational resources needed to maintain as high a level of health as possible.

To schedule a visit or sign up for our services, please contact us at (412) 685-3373 or submit an online appointment request for a free consultation. We allow a full hour for new patient appointments. 

Note that you can also spend half an hour with one of our doctors during an initial consultation, where you can explore the DPC care model and ask us questions directly. You will have no obligation to register with us following a consultation. No medical advice or treatment will be offered at this consultation.


 

FAQs on Chronic Illnesses & Management:

 

There are Different Types of Chronic Illness - Do They Share Any Common Risk Factors?

Yes! Many chronic illnesses share the same risk factors. These include tobacco use; poor nutrition; a lack of physical activity; and excess drinking. That means avoiding tobacco products, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and enjoying alcohol in moderation are all healthy habits you can use to reduce your risk of developing a chronic illness.

 

I’m Already Living With A Chronic Illness. What Should I Do?

If you have received a chronic illness diagnosis, it’s important to ensure that you have access to the various screenings, check-ups, monitoring, and coordinated treatments that will help you avoid serious medical complications. 

The following are examples of important medical guidelines and care needed for specific chronic ailments:

  • Diabetes - To address diabetes properly, it's important to control your blood glucose levels through diet, exercise, and (if needed) medications; to monitor and maintain as normal a blood cholesterol reading as possible; and to control your blood pressure.
  • High Blood Pressure - If you receive a high blood pressure warning/diagnosis, you will need to regularly check your blood pressure; to work with your doctor to develop a personalized healthy living plan to lower your levels; and to take medications as directed. 
  • Heart disease - Following any warning signs of (or diagnosis of) heart disease, you will need regular access to a variety of services. Specific tests may include blood tests; chest x-rays, heart imaging/listening tests; stress tests. And specific treatments may include a prescribed action plan of lifestyle changes and/or medications.

 

I’ve Struggled With Getting Medications and Regular Testing In The Past. Can You Help?

Yes! Family Matters DPC is set up in such a way that we can address and work around the most common barriers to chronic illness care. For example:

  • We dispense generic medications from the office at wholesale rates, saving our patients money and extra trips to the pharmacy.
  • We work directly with a local branch of a reputable national diagnostic testing center. This relationship allows our patients to pay directly for lab services at deeply discounted rates.

 

If you have additional questions about specific care options for a particular health issue, please contact us! We would love the opportunity to review your needs and determine if we are a good fit for your healthy living efforts.