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Doctor visits

Finding the right care

As a caregiver, you’re likely to be involved in your loved one’s healthcare, including visits with doctors and other providers. If your loved one needs help locating a doctor or other provider, look for one that is part of their BCBSRI health plan by using our Find a Doctor tool or contacting BCBSRI Customer Service.

These tips can help your loved one get the care they need and deserve.

Start with a primary care provider.

Having a primary care provider (PCP) can give your loved one (and you) a trusted, ongoing relationship with one medical professional over time—someone who is their main healthcare provider.

A PCP may be a family doctor, a geriatrician (for older adults), a pediatrician (for children), or an internist. Some PCPs are nurse practitioners, which is a nurse who can give a wide range of healthcare services and write prescriptions.

A PCP cares for your loved one by:

  • Giving regular check-ups
  • Providing care for illnesses, most chronic conditions, and minor injuries
  • Making referrals to specialists when needed

PCPs may be able to treat problems themselves rather than sending your loved one to a specialist. That can save time and money.

Making it easier

With some BCBSRI health plans, there is a lower—or even $0—copay for seeing a PCP who is part of a patient-centered medical home. In this type of practice, a PCP leads the team caring for your loved one, which may include specialists, nurses, nutritionists, social workers, and therapists.

See specialists as needed.

A specialist is a doctor who treats certain illnesses or parts of the body, such as a cardiologist (heart doctor) or oncologist (cancer doctor). When talking with a specialist, it’s important to ask:

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What treatment do you recommend? Are there any risks to the treatment?
  • Are there other treatments that could also help with my condition?
Making it easier

If the PCP recommends seeing a specialist, ask them for the name of a specialist(s) in-network, meaning they are part of your loved one’s health plan. Some plans require a referral from a PCP, so be sure to check first. To ensure your loved one gets the best care, the PCP and specialist should be sharing medical records, test results, and appointment notes.

Get safe and inclusive care at a BCBSRI Safe Zone.

The BCBSRI Safe Zone certification identifies a healthcare facility that provides safe, affirming, and inclusive care to the LGBTQ community. To earn that certification, facilities must have:

  • Staff training specific to the care of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people
  • Protection for patients and staff from discrimination based on gender identity or expression
  • Gender-neutral bathrooms
  • Inclusive forms and procedures
  • A public commitment to connecting with and serving the LGBTQ community
Making it easier

Certified Safe Zones include pediatric practices, mental health professionals, dentists, and assisted living facilities. Find a certified Safe Zone provider.

Seek extra support—at no extra cost.

If your loved one has a BCBSRI health plan, our Care Management team can work with them* and their providers to get them on the path to a healthier life. No referral is needed. Our team of registered nurses, registered dietitians, behavioral health specialists, and pharmacists can help your loved one get the care they need. Our team is experienced working with caregivers.

Making it easier

To get started, call 1-844-563-0892 (TTY/TTD: 711) or email