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How To Get A Referral

Do I need a referral from my primary-care doctor?

Rules imposed by insurers on scheduling and receiving care can sometimes place roadblocks between you and the providers and hospitals you prefer. Your wish to have your diabetes treated by a team of specialists - and your insurer's desire, in many cases, to have as much care as possible provided by a primary care provider - may seem to be at odds. In fact, the best, most cost-effective long-term care for people with diabetes occurs when a primary care provider and a specialty care team, like that offered by Joslin, work in collaboration with each other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a referral to come to Joslin?

Yes. If you are a member of an HMO, you probably need a referral.

How do I find out for certain?

Contact the customer service office of your insurance carrier. The telephone number is usually on the back of your insurance card.

Can Joslin get my referral for me?

You should call your primary care provider to get a referral. Joslin Patient Accounts staff is happy to help you determine whom you need to call.

What if I don't have a referral?

Your insurance company will deny the services and you may be held responsible for the bill.

How to Obtain a Referral

  1. Call your primary care provider's office and ask to speak with the person who handles referrals.
  2. Tell that person the name of the Joslin specialist and when your appointment is scheduled.
  3. Ask for the "referral number."
  4. Ask the primary care office to fax the referral to Joslin at 617-713-3472 to the attention of the Pre-Registration Coordinator.

We Confirm that Your Referral Is on File at Joslin

If you are scheduled for an upcoming visit and we do not have your referral on file, the Pre-Registration Coordinator (617-732-2492) may contact you for your referral number.

Always bring the referral number when you check in for your Joslin visit.

If we do not receive a referral, you will be asked to sign a waiver assuming full payment for services.

Be Sure to Bring These Items to Your Appointment

  • Your insurance card 
  • Your co-payment
  • Your referral number, or have it faxed in advance to 617-713-3472

If you have questions regarding referrals or your insurance carrier or HMO, please call the Pre-Registration Coordinator at 617-732-2492.

Directions and Related Links


Physicians referring patients to Joslin should call (617) 309-2674 or (800) 497-7338 for out-of-state.

How do I select and/or confirm a primary care provider (PCP)

Patients without a PCP, who require assistance selecting a PCP, or those who wish to confirm their PCP should contact their health insurance plan.

Page last updated: April 09, 2018