Blue Links for Employers

Do Your Employees Know the Importance of Referrals?

When employees understand that referrals actually help them receive better care, they are more likely to request them. However, you may need to explain their importance. Below you'll find a quick guide to help you answer potential questions.

What is a referral?
When a primary care provider (PCP) decides that a patient requires specialized care, the PCP refers (or sends) the patient to a specialist. The referral allows the specialist to see:

  • Who referred the patient for care
  • Why the patient was referred
  • With whom the specialist should follow up to coordinate the patient's care
  • If the patient's health insurance has approved the visit (not always required)

When do employees need a referral?
Employees in certain plans must get a referral before seeing a specialist; otherwise the visit will be very costly for them.

Why is it a good idea to get a referral?
Since the primary care provider knows the patient's history and overall health, the PCP can provide the specialist with important information and insights. Also, when the PCP and specialist are in communication, the PCP can follow up with the patient and ensure that he or she receives the right treatment at the right time.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions and select Referrals from the list of links.

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