“Referrals” are written authorizations for patients who are members of managed care plans to see specialist physicians or to have certain diagnostic tests performed. In some cases, they consist of forms completed by the staff of the primary care physician. In other cases, telephone or computer authorization must be obtained from the managed care plan. We are happy to provide our patients with referrals when care is needed which cannot be provided by our own physicians or when tests need to be conducted which cannot be conducted in our own office. By reading your member handbook, you can usually become familiar with the rules governing referrals provided by your plan. In addition, we have adopted some rules governing referral requests here in our own office. These rules are consistent with our philosophy of providing the best comprehensive health care to all our patients. Please read them before requesting referrals from our physicians or staff.

  • Routine referrals are prepared by dedicated members  of our staff. They are usually ready within two business days. We will make every effort to prepare emergency referrals quickly. Our staff is busy insuring the best care for all of our patients. Please do not expect them to stop their own work to prepare referrals which are not emergencies.

  • Referrals are NEVER mailed or faxed. Please do not ask us to make an exception.

  • Referrals are NEVER “back-dated.” This is prohibited by all managed care plans. Do not embarrass us by asking to back-date a referral. If you go to a specialist without a referral, we suggest you obtain a bill from that physician and submit it to your managed care plan along with an explanation of why you were unable to obtain a referral prior to your visit.

  • Referrals are not provided without a visit to our office. In many cases, we can help you avoid a visit to another doctor by handling your problem in our own office. Although you may feel a visit to another doctor is essential, we bear ultimate responsibility for the outcome of your medical condition. Consequently, we appreciate being consulted about your problem prior to a visit with a specialist.

  • In more than ten years in practice, we have developed a ‘roster’ of specialists whom we know and trust. If you require a referral to a specialist, allow us to recommend someone to you. Most referrals to specialists authorize a single visit. The specialist will then report back to us and a follow-up plan will be made.

  • We realize that some patients have different expectations of the role of the primary care physican. As board-certified Family Physicians, we believe that by entering into a life-long relationship with our patients, we can be effective healers. If you have chosen us to be your primary care physicians, we appreciate your trust. If however, you are uncomfortable with our policies, our staff will be happy to assist you in locating another primary care physician that may be more suited to your needs.


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