What determines if a patient is referred to a specialty physician?

Usually patients are referred to a specialty physician by their primary care physician (PCP) when the PCP either cannot pinpoint a specific health problem or feels the patient will get better care from someone who is trained to handle the health issue, according to the National Institutes of HealthOff Site Icon (NIH).

Any patient can request on their own to see a specialist for a health issue, according to the NIH. But, if you visit a specialist without a referral from your PCP, your insurance plan might not cover the care with the specialty physician.

For more information about why you might be referred to a specialty physician, talk with your doctor.

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