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Getting Health Care

​Health Navigators at The Mayor’s Health Line are available Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm to help with your search for a primary care provider.


Want to see a doctor but don’t have health insurance?  A Mayor's Health Line Health Navigator will screen you for any public and private health insurance programs that you may qualify for. You can enroll over the phone or in person. Visit our health insurance page to learn more about the health insurance programs that may be available to you.

If you have a non-life threatening illness and need medical attention, please go to your neighborhood medical facilities. Make your neighboring community health center your first stop for primary and urgent care.


Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS A PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER?
A Primary Care Provider (PCP) is a practitioner that treats common medical problems, your main provider for health services . Your PCP is often involved in your care for a long time, so it is important to select someone whom you work well with. Doctors, nurse practioners, physician assistant can all be your primary care provider.

 
HOW CAN A PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER HELP ME STAY HEALTHY?
Regular checkups with your primary care provider are essential to maintaining your health. Checkups prevent problems from occurring and find problems early when your chances for treatment and cure are better.

Seeing your Primary Care Provider for regular health exams along with eating right and exercising are ways you can stay healthy. Your Primary Care Provider will also give you information about special prevention and health promotion programs or classes available to you.

Helping you stay healthy requires you and your Primary Care Provider to work together and communicate openly about your health needs and status. To promote good health, your Primary Care Provider will also make sure that you are up to date with immunizations, and that you are counseled and/or screened as appropriate for colorectal, breast, cervical, or prostate cancer. He or She will also counsel and/or screen you for tobacco and alcohol use, and discuss the benefits of good nutrition and exercise with you. 


HOW CAN I FIND A PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER?
Our staff will assist you in your search. If you get referrals from friends, neighbors or relatives we can help you find out if the provider is on your insurance and is accepting new patients.

You can also get referrals from:

  • State-level medical associations, nursing associations, and associations for physician assistants
  • Your dentist, pharmacist, optometrist, previous provider, or other health professionals
  • Advocacy groups -- especially to help you find the best provider for a specific chronic condition or disability
  • Many health plans, such as Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) have websites, directories, or customer service staff who can help you select a PCP who is right for you

Another option is to request an appointment to "interview" a potential provider. There may be no cost to do this, or you may be charged a co-payment or other small fee.

 
HOW CAN I CHANGE PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS?
You have the right to change health care provider(s). Discuss any problems or concerns you have with your current provider and try to reach an agreement. If you cannot reach an agreement, you can contact a health navigator at the Mayor’s Health Line and someone will help you resolve the situation and find a new provider.

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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org