Q. Recently in pediatrics we have had parents call requesting referrals to cover emergency room visits at off-base hospitals. Do patients need to have a referral to take their children to an off base ER?
A. No, patients do not need a referral for an off base ER. However, if the patient is unknowingly shuffled to an urgent care clinic fast track, where the billing no longer shows emergency department and instead shows up as an Urgent Care clinic, then the patient needs to have a referral. If the ER staff tells you to go somewhere else then please check if you are going to an urgent care clinic. All urgent care visits require a referral before the patient can be seen.
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