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Tue, Nov. 12

Column | Getting primary care in Kingman is close to impossible

Arizona Institute of Medicine & Surgery, 3636 Stockton Hill Road is the only primary care unit in town able to provide a new patient appointment in a week. (Photo by Agata Popeda/Daily Miner)

Arizona Institute of Medicine & Surgery, 3636 Stockton Hill Road is the only primary care unit in town able to provide a new patient appointment in a week. (Photo by Agata Popeda/Daily Miner)

Recently I learned that actually having and using health insurance can be a great disadvantage in Northern Arizona versus when I did not have it.

A couple of months ago, as an uninsured person, I received a 60% discount and was helped the same day at a local urgent care. The doctor refilled my prescription, and a clerk at Walgreen’s, 1925 E Andy Devine Ave., gave me a coupon that reduced the price of the drug to $20.

The same medication through my insurance is $40 per month. To see a primary doctor with my insurance, I would have to pay $144.89 for the first visit. All that on the top of $140 monthly I pay for the insurance premium.

Could this situation get even more ridiculous? Yes, it can.

Even if I chose to spend over a $680 to get a three-month supply of my medication through my insurance instead of $120 – the luxury of actually seeing a general practitioner means I would have to wait until October.

That’s the waiting time at both KRMC-affiliated primary care providers – KRMC Primary Care, 2226 Hualapai Mountain Road, and Sunshine Canyon Family Healthcare, 2202 Stockton Hill Road, #100.

KRMC Communications & Marketing Director Teri Williams didn’t confirm nor deny those dates.

“It’s impossible to give you wait times because it truly is on a case by case basis depending on the provider, the type of service needed, patient condition/needs, and the current demand in the community,” she said. “Some of our primary care providers are booked out several weeks to months because there’s simply not enough providers to meet our community’s need.”

Things look only a little better at Northern Arizona Medical Group, 3555 Western Ave., which has some openings in early September.

North Country HealthCare, 1510 Stockton Hill Road, has its first opening on Aug. 22. A handful of smaller local family practices either don’t accept new patients or offer appointments in late fall.

The only provider in town that had primary care appointments for next week was Arizona Institute of Medicine & Surgery primary care, 3636 Stockton Hill Road.

AIMS also offers urgent care services, along with KRMC Urgent Care, 1726 Beverly Ave., and is the fastest way to get primary care.

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