The PCP is responsible for determining when the member needs a referral. Only the PCP may make an initial referral. These must be made to participating care providers. We deny claims for services rendered without a proper referral. You may not bill the member for those services unless, prior to receiving the service, the member agrees in writing:
- That the referral is not in place or the service is not a covered service, and
- To be financially responsible for the cost of the service.
Referrals to a specialist may be necessary:
- When a member fails to respond to current medical treatment.
- To confirm or establish a member’s diagnosis and/or treatment modality.
- To provide diagnostic studies, treatments or procedures that range beyond the scope of the PCP. PCPs may make referrals to a specialist according to the Specialty Referral Guidelines section.
These specialty services do not require referral:
- Chiropractic (subject to benefit limitations)
- Substance use treatment*
- Mental health*
Out-of-network referrals are only approved when the services are not available from a participating care provider. Request out- of-network referrals by calling NHP at 1-877-842-3210. Once we receive the referral, the data will be reviewed and, if approved, entered into the system to help ensure payment of the specialist claims.
Specialty referral guidelines
- Once the specialty services have been properly authorized, the member or PCP may schedule an appointment with the specialist.
- Submit specialist referrals on UHCprovider.com/link.
- We mail an authorization letter to the specialist for the member’s medical record.
- We do not pay specialist claims without a referral.
- The specialist should re-verify the member’s eligibility at the time of visit by calling Provider Services 1-877-842-3210. Refer to the back of the member’s ID card to help ensure the appropriate Provider Services department is contacted.
Call 1-800-817-4705 for behavioral health service requests.
All NHP HMO members require a referral before scheduling appointments for specialty services.
A member may self-refer to an NHP obstetrician who is a participating care provider for routine obstetrical (OB) care. If the member is referred to a non-participating specialist, the specialist must notify us through UHCprovider.com or by calling 1-877- 842-3210 to make sure accurate claims payment for ante- and postpartum care.
- Plain film radiography performed by an NHP participating care provider or in the obstetrician’s office during an authorized visit, does not require prior authorization.
- Routine labs performed in the obstetrician’s office, or that are provided by a participating care provider in support of an authorized visit, do not require prior authorization.
Office procedures and diagnostic and/or therapeutic testing performed in the obstetrician’s office that do not require prior authorization may be performed.
* See the prior authorization section of this supplement.