What is a referral?
A referral is a formal way your ICHS provider can send you to a specialty clinic or imaging service. Think of it as your doctor introducing you to their trusted colleague who is an expert in another area of medicine, like cardiology.
It is important to go to your referral appointments because ICHS clinics do not have all the resources and equipment necessary to help you with all your care needs. If you miss your referral appointment, your ICHS provider will not have all the information needed to help you.
Some patients are understandably worried about seeking care in an unfamiliar place. But you don’t need to be! ICHS will only refer you to trusted clinics and hospitals. These other doctors will automatically send notes to your provider so that they stay up-to-date about your care.
I got a referral. Now what?
This is what happens behind the scenes and what you need to do:
- Your ICHS provider informs the referrals team that they are referring you to another service.
- The referrals team processes the referral. The team communicates with outside hospitals and clinics and lets them know that ICHS is sending them a patient.
- The referrals team mails a letter to you within 14 days of seeing your ICHS provider. This referral letter contains a phone number to make your appointment. Please call this number!
- Go to your specialist appointment.
- Follow-up with your ICHS provider about the results of the specialist visit. Have questions about your bill? Please contact your insurance company or the specialist.
What if I have a language barrier?
Hospitals and clinics in the U.S. are required by law to provide you free interpreter services whether you are in person or on the phone. You only need to give your name, date of birth, and what language you speak.