Do I need a referral from my doctor to get an appointment to see a neurologist?

Question by tjmj33f_47501: Do I need a referral from my doctor to get an appointment to see a neurologist?
I am currently seeing my doctor for a number of things including neuropathy, diabetes and 2 herniated discs in my lower back. He has told me several times that he can not treat me for long term chronic pain yet has only referred me to a pain specialist who only does injections on my back and doesn’t help with the pain for the neuropathy. I have explained to him numerous times that the injections aren’t helping with the leg and feet throbbing pain due to the neuropathy. He still refuses to refer me to a neurologist and keeps telling me to go to the pain specialist. What can I do? Can I actually get into see a neurologist without a referral from my doctor? Somebody please help.

Best answer:

Answer by sadealz
yes, you need a referal in most cases to see a specialist.

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “Do I need a referral from my doctor to get an appointment to see a neurologist?”

  1. hornydude says:

    don’t know

  2. Dr. Smith 61 says:

    I’ve seen physical therapists and chyropractors both solve some problems. Give them a try.

  3. flowerlover12003 says:

    Depends on your insurance coverage. Call the neurologist and ask for appointment. When they ask for insurance they will tell you if you need a referral. Or, call your insurance company, or call your doctor. HMOs require referral, traditionals sometimes do, PPO usually do not.

  4. cute_blondie_angel says:

    No, you do NOT need a referal. I have Epilepsy and also see a nuerologist. I have moved to many different states on my life time, and have not once needed a referal. I chose my own doctors. Call your local neurologist and explain to him your situation. Im sure they will make an appointment for you to come in.

  5. Bellvusnob says:

    Sorry to hear about your back, I understand how debilitating neuropathy can be. It’s unfortunate that your primary doctor does not want to refer you to a Neurologist, perhaps you should inquire with the pain specialist if he/she would be able to refer you? It might also be wise to check with your health plan customer service and see what they say also.

  6. hearkat says:

    It depends on your insurance plan. Most HMOs require referrals, but if you have a PPO or POS plan, you don’t need one. Just check that the specialist you want to see is in your network.

    Bring with you any imaging films and reports you have, as well as results and reports from other testing that may have been done.

    You might also want to consult a Physiatrist – they are specialists in rehabilitative medicine. Here are some links:
    http://www.physiatry.org/
    http://www.physiatry.com/
    http://www.spine-health.com/topics/conserv/physiatry/physiat01.html

  7. James D says:

    It does probably depend more on your insurance than anything else. Some specialists only take patients on referral, but chances are good that there is someone in your community that will examine you.

    Insurance is the key. With an HMO, you can’t see anyone outside of your Primary Care Physician without a referral. Otherwise, you’re on your own for the cost. But most other types of coverage (especially PPO’s, or Preferred Provider Organizations) will cover a visit, assuming you’re visiting a doctor that participates in their provider network. Your insurer probably has that info on their website for you to search.

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