About Your Care
Passport works with our providers to give you good health care. We look at your member benefits and make choices about care based on what you need. We want you to know:
- We do not reward providers to deny care.
- We do not reward staff or other people to deny care or give you less care.
- We do not pay extra money to providers or our staff members to deny tests or treatments that you need to get better or stay healthy.
Members who have a concern about their health care can call Member Services at (800) 578-0603 or TTY: 711.
- Our staff is here to take calls Monday to Friday between 7:00am – 7:00pm, local time (except holidays). If members call after 7:00pm, they can leave a message and their phone number. Our staff will return the call in a timely manner, no more than one business day.
- Staff is also available to accept collect calls.
- There are nurses you can talk to about your health care choices and getting the needed care available through our Nurse Advice Line.
- A bilingual staff member or interpreter is available for members.
A PCP is a doctor who helps you when you are sick and can also help you stay healthy. You may think you do not need a doctor until you are sick. This is not the best time for you to meet your doctor for the first time. Call your doctor to make your first appointment. This first visit will help your doctor get to know you and help you stay well. Please call Member Services if you need help getting an appointment.
Go to your PCP for:
- Specialist visits
- Hospital visits
Seeing a doctor for check-ups helps find problems early. If you need special care, your PCP will help you. Your doctor works with you to keep you and your family healthy.
Your PCP will take care of most of your needs. There will be times when you will need to see other type of doctors. These doctors are called specialists.
Examples of specialists are:
- ENT physicians (Ear, Nose & Throat)
There are some providers that do need referrals. For example:
It is a good idea to check with Member Services if the doctor is part of Passport. You might need a provider that is not part of Passport. If this happens, call your PCP to get prior approval from Passport.
Out of Network Services
If a Passport provider is unable to provide a member with necessary and covered services, Passport must cover the needed services through an out-of-network provider. The cost to members should be no greater than it would be if the provider were in Passport’s network. This must be done in a timely manner for as long as Passport is unable to provide the service.
After Hours Care
You might need to reach your provider after or before their office is open. If you do, you may call the number you usually reach them at. All providers have coverage for their patients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your doctor may have an answering service where someone can help you with your medical issue or call the doctor. Sometimes your provider may have another provider cover for them either after hours or if your doctor is away. They could give you advice over the phone and sometimes prescribe a medication. You might be asked to visit the provider or be sent to an urgent care center.
Passport also has a Nurse Advice Line with highly trained nurses. They can help you decide if you or your child should see a provider right away. The nurses can also help you make an appointment if you need to see a provider quickly. Sometimes, you have questions, but you do not think you need to see your provider. You can call the Nurse Advice Line and talk to a nurse. They will help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For the hearing impaired, please call TTY 711
If you feel this is an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
It’s a medical problem that needs to be treated immediately. We cover emergencies wherever you are. You do not have to call Passport for approval in an emergency. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. This includes a facility that is not part of Passport. You can get emergency care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Some examples of emergency are:
- Miscarriage or pregnancy problems
- Seizures or convulsions
- Unusual or excessive bleeding
- Severe pain
- Severe burns
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pains
Please carry your Member ID Card with you. If you are told you need to stay in the hospital, make sure the hospital calls Passport. If you are asked to stay in a hospital that is not part of Passport, we will transfer you to a hospital that is part of Passport as soon as you are well enough to be moved. If the emergency room doctor decides that you do not have to stay but you decide to stay, you may have to pay. Once you leave the ER and are told you need further medical care, call your doctor. Do not go to the ER for follow-up care. Make an appointment with your doctor.
If you are not sure if you need emergency care, call your PCP or call our 24-Hour Nurse Advice Line toll-free (800) 606-9880.The Nurse Advice Line is staffed by registered nurses (RNs). You can call the Nurse Advice Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Hospital emergency rooms are only for real emergencies. These are not good places to get non-emergency care. They are often very busy and must care first for those whose lives are in danger. Please do not go to a hospital emergency room if your condition is not an emergency.
Out of Area Care
If you are away from Passport’s service areas and need emergency care, go to the nearest emergency room for care. Please contact Passport within 24 hours or as soon as you can. Call toll-free (800) 578-0603. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call our dedicated TTY/TDD line toll-free 711. When you are away from Passport’s service area, only emergency care is covered. *Out of area urgent care services require prior authorization. No services are covered outside the United States.
Urgent care services are for conditions that need attention right away. You should call your PCP for urgent care services. Your PCP may send you to an after-hours clinic or an urgent care center, when the doctor’s office is closed.
Some examples of urgent services are:
- Minor injuries
- Minor illnesses
- High fever for children or elderly
- Simple fractures
- Eye injuries
- Insect bites
An urgent care center is not an emergency room. If you are not sure if you need to go to the ER, call your PCP or Passport’s 24-hour Nurse Advice Line. Your PCP or our nurses can help you decide what to do. The Nurse Advice Line telephone number is:
- (800) 606-9880 711 (TTY/TDD)
You or your doctor has the right to ask for a second opinion. You or your doctor can call Member Services to request the second opinion.
If the request is urgent and serious:
- Passport will respond within one (1) day.
- The second opinion will be given within (72) hours.
Reasons why second opinions are needed:
- You are not sure you need the treatment the doctor suggests.
- You are not sure of the doctor’s diagnosis.
- You have a complex problem.
- Your doctor is not sure of a correct diagnosis.
- You have complex symptoms.
- You have followed the doctor’s care plan but have not improved.
- You have talked with your doctor about your concerns but still are not satisfied.
If a second opinion is approved, you will not have to pay for the services. The doctor that you see for a second opinion will send a written report to you and your PCP.
Passport may decide a second opinion is not needed. If so, we will send you a denial with the appeal rights.
If you prefer to speak in your own language, Member Services can help. An interpreter will be available to speak with you. They can also help you speak to the doctor. An interpreter can help you:
- Make an appointment.
- Talk with your doctor or nurse.
- Get emergency care.
- File a complaint, grievance, or appeal.
- Get help from a pharmacist about taking medicine.
Interpreter services are free to all members. To ask for an interpreter, call Member Services at(800) 578-0603. If you have an appointment, your doctor can help you find an interpreter.
If you are hearing or sight impaired, Passport can help you. You may ask for the Member Handbook in braille. If you are hard of hearing, call our TTY/TDD line at 711. It may take some time, please do not hang up.