Prescriptions, Referrals, and Orders
Last but absolutely not least of the services we offer include writing prescriptions for medication, referrals to specialists, and orders for things like blood tests, mammographies, x-rays, ultrasounds, cat scans, and MRIs. These are extremely important for treatment, but be aware that they are ordered only at the doctor's discretion and that not everything your doctor orders is necessarily covered by your insurance. Always confirm coverage with your insurance company or agent. There are usually options that are covered. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.
- Prescriptions for Medication
- Referrals to Specialists
- Orders for Labs, Radiology, etc.
- Administrative Services
Prescriptions for Medication
Prescriptions usually come along with an appointment, but if you regularly take medications (such as for diabetes, blood pressure, or cholesterol) or you need a refill prescription, our physicians may be able to accomodate you. And in some cases, if you have recently been seen at our office, we may be able to prescribe a new medication for you without another appointment. This may happen for example if you are prescribed a medication for your allergies that you tried for a week and didn't work for you, or if you had initially refused a medication but had a change of heart later. The doctor MUST, however, have seen you for an office visit before, be aware of your symptoms, and have actually diagnosed you before this is possible!
If there is too much time between when you have been seen and when you request a prescription, your physician may ask you to come in for an office visit first so that he or she might discuss your options with you. Please understand that all medications are prescribed at the discretion of your doctor. If your doctor doesn't prescribe you a medication then it is most likely not appropriate for your situation. Please, please do not alter the regimen prescribed to you without consulting your doctor!
Not all prescriptions are covered by your insurance just because a physician prescribes it! Make sure you confirm that it is covered. The best way to do this is to talk to your pharmacist. Make sure your pharmacy has your most recent insurance information. We at GPMA will also help you check your coverage as a courtesy, but it is ultimately the patient's responsibility to check his or her own coverage! In some cases, authorizations may be acquired for a specific medication, but most insurance companies require you to try other similar, covered medications first (such as but not exclusive to generics ).
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Referrals to Specialists
When your situation warrants it, your physician may send you to a specialist--a doctor who specializes in a certain area of medicine. In some cases, if your PCP has seen you recently and is aware of your symptoms, we may be able to give you a referral without a new appointment. Contact us to find out!
Please note that if you are a PPO patient, you usually don't need a referral to see a specialist, though it is recommended that you attain one so that both your specialist and your PCP can keep track of your medical records. If you have questions about what PCPs or specialists are, or you would like to know more about PPO insurances, try our FAQ section.
Please remember that not all specialists are covered simply because you have a referral! Always confirm with your insurance. Find out who is in your plan. In some cases, authorizations may be acquired.
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Orders for Labs, Radiology, etc.
Orders are forms we give to patients so that they can have diagnostic tests done. These tests include:
- Lab Tests (such as glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, STDs, etc.)
- Radiology Tests:
- Ultrasounds (UTZ)
- Cat Scans (CT)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
These tests are ordered only at the discretion of your physician. Also, please confirm that your insurance covers a procedure before you proceed. For example, often insurances will only cover one general blood test evaluation a year, but if you develop high cholesterol, your physician may order a blood test to check your cholesterol within a month or two. We will do our best at GPMA to check coverage for you, but because plans can vary, it is best to contact your insurance company or agent to confirm coverage. If a procedure is not covered by your insurance and cannot be substituted, GPMA will submit an authorization request to your insurance company for you.
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Administrative services include the following:
- Completing forms for school, employment, DMV, disability, jury duty, etc.
- Copying reports or documents
- Mailing documents