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Choose local. Choose Legacy.

When you need health care, choose Legacy Health.

Your locally owned partner in health, Legacy has primary care doctors, specialized physicians, a children’s hospital and six full-service hospitals; plus, our quality measures are among the best in the country.

So when it’s time to select your health plan, make sure yours includes Legacy Health.

Below are tips on choosing a primary care doctor, selecting a health plan and getting the best care for children. Also, the advantages of going local.

  1. Choosing a doctor

    Dr. Pendergrass and patient


    A primary care provider (PCP) is a health care practitioner who sees people that have common medical problems. This person is usually a doctor, but may be a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner. Your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time, so it is important to select someone with whom you will work well.

    A PCP is your main health care provider. Your PCP's role is:

    • Provide preventive care and teach healthy lifestyle choices
    • Identify and treat common medical conditions
    • Assess the urgency of your medical problems and direct you to the best place for that care
    • Make referrals to medical specialists when necessary

    Primary care is usually provided in an outpatient setting. However, if you are admitted to the hospital, your PCP may assist in or direct your care, depending on the circumstances.

    Having a primary care provider can give you a trusting, ongoing relationship with one medical professional over time. You can choose from several different types of PCPs:

    • Internists — doctors who have completed a residency in internal medicine and are board-certified, or board-eligible, in this specialty. They care for adults of all ages for many different medical problems.
    • Family practitioners — doctors who have completed a family practice residency and are board-certified, or board-eligible, for this specialty. They care for children and adults of all ages and may address obstetrics and minor surgery.
    •  Pediatricians— doctors who have completed a pediatric residency and are board-certified, or board-eligible, in this specialty. They care for newborns, infants, children and adolescents.
    • Obstetricians/gynecologists -- doctors who have completed a residency and are board-certified, or board-eligible, in these specialties. They often serve as a PCP for women, particularly those of childbearing age.
    • Nurse practitioners (NP) and physician assistants (PA) — practitioners who go through a different training and certification process than doctors. They may be your key contact in some practices.
    Many insurance plans limit the providers you can choose from, or provide financial incentives for you to select from a specific list of providers. Make sure you know what your insurance covers before starting to narrow down your options.

    Tips on how to choose

    When choosing a PCP, also consider the following:

    • Is the office staff friendly and helpful? Is the office good about returning calls?
    • Are the office hours convenient to your schedule?
    • How easy is it to reach the provider? Does the provider use email?
    • Do you prefer a provider whose communication style is friendly and warm, or more formal?
    • Do you prefer a provider focused on disease treatment, or wellness and prevention?
    • Does the provider have a conservative or aggressive approach to treatment?
    • Does the provider order a lot of tests?
    • Does the provider refer to other specialists frequently or infrequently?
    • What do colleagues and patients say about the provider?
    • Does the provider invite you to be involved in your care? Does the provider view your patient-doctor relationship as a true partnership?

    You can get referrals from:

    • Friends, neighbors, or relatives
    • State-level medical associations, nursing associations, and associations for physician assistants
    • Your dentist, pharmacist, optometrist, previous provider, or other health professional
    • Advocacy groups -- especially to to help you find the best provider for a specific chronic condition or disability
    • Many health plans have websites, directories, or customer service staff who can help you select a PCP who is right for you
    Content adapted from the National Institute for Health.
  2. Tips on choosing a health plan

    Discussing health plans


    We realize it is not fun filling out benefit forms and selecting a health plan.

    It is, however, important.

    Here are some tips to help you along your decision-making path whether your employer is giving different plan options to select from, if your company has a new insurance plan, or if you are finding insurance for yourself and your family.


    Think about what you need

    What are the most important things you need from your health plan? Here are some things to think about (the term "providers" here refers to doctors, clinics, hospitals and other medical services and professionals):

    • Choice — Some plans allow you to choose from a long list of doctors and different hospitals. Others require that you choose a doctor from a smaller group affiliated with a certain hospital or health care system.
    • Convenience — Is is important to you that the doctors and hospitals are close to your home or work?
    • Cost — In addition to the monthly premium costs, check deductible and co-pay amounts.
    • Family needs — If you have children or people with specific health needs, look for a plan that gives you access to providers who specialize in those areas.

    Legacy has a new partnership with PacificSource. We encourage to look at PacificSource when considering health plans.

    Look for your doctor

    If you already have a doctor you like, check the plan's provider network list to make sure they are included.

    What about the Affordable Care Act?

    Visit to learn about affordable health coverage, including those offered by the government's Health Insurance Marketplace (otherwise known as the health exchange).

  3. The best care for your kids

    RCH patient and Dr. Auerbach

    You want the best for your child, and nothing is more important than their health.

    To get the best care for your kids, see to it that your child has regular "well care" visits with the right doctor.

    And, in case you ever need it, make sure you are aware of the specialized care available at a children’s hospital.

    Care for children

    Despite all the changes in health care, for infants and children regular "well care" visits are still vital for many reasons. Regular check-ups help:

    • Spot problems early and prevent them from becoming bigger ones
    • Make sure your child has the proper immunizations and tests to avoid diseases that can have long-term effects
    • Form trust between the doctor and your child, helping the child feel comfortable when they do get sick.
    • Your doctor get to know what is special about your child so they can choose the best treatment options
    Also, it is usually more cost effective to get care for ordinary problems, such as colds and flu, from a primary care doctor than from an emergency room.

    Doctors for kids

    There are two kinds of primary care doctors for children:

    Pediatricians are doctors who specializes in the treatment of babies, children and teens. A pediatrician has four years of medical school and three years of additional training to understand all the differences between children's bodies and those of adults. The offices of a pediatrician, from the waiting room to the size of equipment, are designed just for kids, being trained in the treatments and resources for children.

    • Family practitioners (also called family medicine) treat everyone in the family, from the youngest to the oldest. That means when there is a family history of a particular problem, even just a cold or flu, the family practitioner can help the whole family. Family practitioners have four years of medical school and three years of additional training in their specialty.

    Some things to look for

    When looking for a doctor for your children, you want to consider the same things you would for any doctor: location, office hours, policies on appointments and payments. You also might consider some specifics:

    • When I call the office with a question, who will speak to me?
    • How often will you see my child for check-ups and immunizations?
    • If there are several doctors in a practice, can I schedule appointments with you, or will I see whoever is in?
    • How far in advance must I make an appointment for well-care? How quickly can I get in with a sick child?
    • What insurance do you accept? How are claims handled? When do you expect payment?
    • Which hospital are you affiliated with?

    A hospital just for kids

    You might ask why your family needs a children's hospital. Aren't all hospitals and ERs the same? The simple but important answer is "no."

    Specialized treatment

    Growing children have different bodies than grownups. Medical treatment affects children differently than adults, even if they suffer from the same illness. What might be a routine procedure for an adult may be of serious concern for a developing child. Children need expert care from pediatric specialists who not only identify a young patient’s immediate medical needs, but also recognize the long-term effects of procedures and treatments on children.

    Specialized medical professionals

    The need for a children’s hospital becomes even more critical when a child requires a pediatric specialist to provide a higher level of care. As part of their training, these specialists participate in fellowships that can last up to three more years of medical training.

    Nurses working in a children’s hospital also specialize in their fields of pediatric medicine, such as pediatric intensive care, pediatric rehabilitation and pediatric cancer and more.

     Specialized facilities

    In addition to the specialized staff, a children’s hospital, its facilities, the equipment, the medications, everything, is tailored to fit the needs of children. If you wonder whether your local hospital measures up, just call and ask them: 

  4. Choosing local

    Why choose Legacy?

    • Locally owned
    • A dedicated children's hospital — Randall Children's Hospital
           An ER just for kids open 24/7 staffed by pediatricians who specialize in emergency care for       children
           Highest level of care for premature and critically ill newborn
           Specialists in virtually every field of children's medicine
           Children's day surgery unit
    • 20+ primary clinics and 25+ specialized clinics located in your neighborhood and the greater Portland area. Plus, five full-service hospitals.
    • Online access to your electronic medical records through MyHealth online tool
           Schedule appointments with your primary care doctor
           Communicate with your doctor directly
           View test results and medication; renew prescriptions
    • MyHealth mobile app at your disposal
          Find a clinic or hospital location near you
          Check symptoms 
          Show "In Case of an Emergency" contact on your phone without password access
          Access your medical records
    • Free community health education classes on a variety of health topics
    • Community supporter that gives back

    You’ve heard the saying, Shop local

    We agree. Legacy Health, your locally owned, nonprofit health system, believes that a healthy community leads to healthier people. Or the other way around — healthy people lead to a healthy community. That’s why we support dozens of local groups that are building a healthier community. Our overall contribution to the community was $265 million last year, including our support for people who don't have enough insurance or can't afford it, and the charity care and services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.


    Money goes back to you and yours

    As a local, nonprofit, we don’t earn profits or pay shareholders. The money we make from our margin is reinvested into the organization to ensure that we can offer quality care and be stable for the future. All the revenue we generate goes back into the organization –– in the form of better technology for your care, more medical professionals and staff, and provide stability for the future.  


    We’re like you

    What’s more, as a part of a local organization, the folks at Legacy care about the same things you do.  Our employees are your neighbors.

    Our roots in this community go back more than a century ago. Our mission is to create a legacy of health for our people, our patients, our community and our world.  And we do that through our values of Respect, Service, Quality, Excellence, Responsibility, Innovation and Leadership.