Most health plans will require a referral from a primary care specialist before seeing another specialist such as a cardiologist or neurologist. However, some plans do not require a referral. It is best to check with your health plan before seeing another specialist to see if a referral is required. If one is required and you do not have one, you could end up paying the entire bill.
Mary L. Coan, MD
Specialty: Family Medicine
Location and Office HoursIntegrative Family Care at The Springs
Clifton Springs, NY 14432
- CIGNA HealthCare
- HMOBlue (Excellus BCBSCNY)
- MVP Health Care
- Oxford Health Plans/United Healthcare
- Will I have to see a primary care provider for referrals to specialists?
What kind of training do primary care providers have?
Primary care physicians are trained to diagnose and treat the initial stages of disease for adult patients. They also should be trained in prevention and wellness. Pediatricians provide primary care for children. In addition, many women use Obstetrician-Gynecologists for primary care and many Ob-Gyns have given up practicing obstetrics and only practice gynecology and serve as Primary Care physicians for women. Despite this, the College of Obstetrics and Gynecology states the training programs for that specialty are not designed to train Primary Care physicians.
How can I determine if a doctor will be easy to reach by phone or e-mail?
It is often difficult to reach a doctor for a phone call. They are often busy with other patients and you may end up talking with an office nurse. More and more doctors are responding to patient e-mails. However, doctors do not get compensated for phone calls and e-mails and that is often why they prefer to see you in person. Also, your appearance can tell a good deal about your health status that is not discernable in a phone call or e-mail. Accurate diagnoses are better made in-person than by phone or Internet.
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