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.
Rita J. Watkins, MD
Specialty: Family Medicine
Location and Office HoursPremier Family Medicine
Fort Wright, KY 41011
- Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield
- CIGNA HealthCare
- Choice Care/Humana
- Great-West Healthcare CIGNA
- Medical Mutual of Ohio/HMO Health Ohio
- United Healthcare
- St Elizabeth Medical Center South Unit
- Will I have to see a primary care provider for referrals to specialists?
What is an internal medicine doctor?
An Internal Medicine doctor is trained in the medical specialty of Internal Medicine. Many doctors thus trained practice primary care medicine. Others go on to training in sub-specialties such as endocrinology, gastroenterology or cardiology.
How can I find out if a doctor has been sued for malpractice?
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredFinding out if a doctor has been sued for botched practicing is certainly a legitimate qualifying factor when you're shopping for a new physician or specialist. As long as the info is put into context, that is.
To find out if any malpractice lawsuits have been filed against a physician, call the county clerk's office where he or she practices, as well as the state medical licensing board and the state insurance department (you can ask the latter if any claims are on record for the doctor). You can also check your doctor's record on Web sites such as www.docboard.org.
Just remember that it's common for doctors to be sued, and many cases are dismissed or the physicians win, so the fact that a doctor has been sued for malpractice isn't necessarily a damning sign.
However, if he or she has been sued several times in the past few years and many of those suits have been settled or resulted in the award of large sums to the patient, I, as a doctor, would see that as a warning sign to move on. Lighting can indeed strike in the same spot twice, but four or five times is a little troubling.
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