FAQ & Resources

We want your experience at Patient First to be great.  If we haven't answered your question already, please refer to the articles below, or give us a call toll free at (800) 447-8588.

About Patient First

Patient First bridges the gap between the emergency room and your primary care physician, routinely treating over 60% of the types of visits hospital emergency rooms treat. In addition to urgent care services, Patient First provides preventive and primary care.


To learn more about what conditions Patient First treats, please visit our Conditions Our Providers Care For page.

Yes, always. A board-certified physician is on-site at all times. To view the bios and current schedules for full-time physicians and physician assistants, please visit our Schedules & Bios page.

Yes. Patient First provides a full range of preventive and primary services for patients over the age of seven. To learn more about our primary care services, please visit our Primary Care page.


Please note that with some select insurance companies Patient First participates as an urgent care provider only. To see if Patient First participates as a primary care provider with your insurance, please visit our Insurance Pages.

No. Patient First provides urgent and primary health care on a non-appointment basis. Patient First physicians are available on a walk-in basis from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. 365 days a year.

Patient First operates 99 conveniently located Neighborhood Medical Centers in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. To find a center near you, please visit our Locations page.

If you are interested in having Patient First participate with your organization or event, please visit our Community and Media Relations page to access the contact information for the Community Relations Coordinator in your region.

About Your Visit

We recommend bringing the following items with you when visiting Patient First:

  • Driver's license or photo ID
  • Proof of insurance, including an insurance card or a copy of plan details
  • Payment for self-pay patients or credit card to authorize on file
  • List of medications, allergies, and past surgeries
  • Any relevant forms that need filled out during the visit such as for school or sports physicals.

To view the bios and current schedules for full-time physicians and physician assistants, please visit our Find a Physician page. You may also see a complete schedule of full- and part-time physicians and physician assistants by clicking “View Full Center Schedule” on individual center location pages.

There are three ways you may request your full medical records:

  • In person: You may walk in any Patient First center with your current identification to receive a copy of your medical records.
  • By mail or fax:You may fill out our Authorization for Release of Information form available on our website and either fax or mail the completed form to:
    • (804) 968-4269
    • Medical Records Department
      Patient First
      P.O. Box 5411
      Glen Allen, VA 23058
  • By phone: You may call our Medical Records department 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (804) 822-4530 to speak with a representative.
You may also access an abridged version of your medical records through our Patient Portal. Just select the visit you wish to download records for and click "DOWNLOAD."

Patient Portal

The Patient Portal provides patients a convenient resource and a home for their Patient First medical records. Once registered, you may use the portal to:

  • View Your Medical History: Have full access to your Patient First visit history, on any device.
  • View Your Lab Results: Get immediate access to your lab results as soon as they become available.
  • Message Us: If you have a question about your recent visit, you may contact us quickly and securely.

To sign up for a Patient Portal Account, visit a Patient First center and speak with a front office employee to obtain an activation code. Once you have a code, navigate to our Patient Portal to register.

No, you may not create an account within the Patient Portal if you have not yet visited Patient First. To find the Patient First location nearest you, please visit our Locations page.

If you are experiencing trouble logging into your Patient Portal, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for the Patient Portal. You may also contact us for support 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at (800)447-8588.

Referrals

In general, you must be evaluated by a Patient First physician before you will be referred to a specialist. Depending on your insurance, you may need to call the Patient First Referral Center at (800) 370-8197 at least two weekdays prior to your appointment so that approval for your visit with the specialist can be obtained from your insurance company. We encourage patients to contact their insurance provider to confirm the referral policy.

Referral requirements are not the same for all insurers. If Patient First, or a Patient First physician, is listed as your Primary Care Physician (PCP) with your Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Point of Service (POS) plan, you will typically need to contact the Referral Department to obtain a referral or preauthorization for specialty visits and certain services. Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and traditional insurance plans do not require referral authorizations to participating specialists; however, some plans do have preauthorization requirements for certain services (for example, MRIs or CT scans). If you are unsure, check your benefits booklet or contact your benefits administrator or insurance plan.

Yes. Before we can process your referral request, you must have the approval of your Patient First Primary Care Physician (PCP). If a prior referral authorization has expired or you have used all your authorized visits, you will need to call your PCP for approval first. Once your PCP approves additional visits your referral can be processed promptly by calling the Patient First Referral Department.

Be prepared to give:

  • the name of the Patient First center you visited
  • the name and location of the specialist to whom you were referred
  • the name of your insurance carrier and policy number

No. Although we are glad to help you obtain authorization for a referral, a referral is not a guarantee of coverage or benefits. Health plan benefits are determined and paid by your insurance plan based on the benefits available to you at the time services are rendered. You may refer to your benefits booklet or contact your benefits administrator or your insurance plan.

No. Ongoing changes in specialty physician insurance affiliations make it impossible for us to be sure that a particular specialist is participating or will be participating in your plan when services are rendered. For your protection, be sure that the specialist you plan to see is in your insurance network before you schedule your appointment and before services are rendered. You can obtain this information from the specialist’s office or from your insurance company.

On-Site Services

Patient First offers a variety of routine and travel immunizations. To learn more about the immunizations we offer, please visit our Immunizations page.

Yes. Free language assistance services are available to patients. If you have limited English proficiency, please ask the front office staff for an interpreter during registration. To learn more about our translation services, please visit our Notice of Nondiscrimination page.

Yes. Many prescription drugs, chiefly those prescribed for urgent care conditions, are available at every Patient First. To learn more about filling your prescription at Patient First, please visit our Prescription Drugs page.

Yes. Every Patient First is equipped for routine digital x-rays of the chest, abdomen, spine, skull and extremities. To learn more about digital imaging at Patient First, please visit our X-rays page.

The CLIA-approved labs in every Patient First are equipped to do many routine lab tests from blood work to pregnancy tests on-site during your visit. To view a list of routine lab tests performed at Patient First, please visit our Lab Testing page.

Get immediate access to your lab results as soon as they become available by logging into your Patient Portal. For additional details on the Patient Portal, including instructions about how to set up your account, please see the Patient Portal section on this FAQ & Resources page.

Occupational Health/Employer Services

Patient First is well-equipped for Occupational Health services, including Workers' Compensation care. To view a list of employer services offered at Patient First, please visit our Occupational Health page.

No. Patient First provides Occupational Health services on a non-appointment basis. Patient First physicians are available on a walk-in basis from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., 365 days a year.

In order to make your employee’s visit as convenient as possible, please have him or her bring:

  • Driver’s license or photo ID.
  • Proof of insurance, including an Insurance card or a copy of plan details.
  • Payment or credit card to authorize on file.
  • List of medications, allergies, and past surgeries.
  • Any relevant forms that need filled out during the visit such as DOT physical form.

Patient First provides Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination. For your convenience, Patient First FMCSA certified providers are available to provide Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examinations on a walk-in, non-appointment basis.

To learn more about our DOT physicals, please visit our DOT Physicals page.

Insurance, Billing and Payment

We are here to help you understand your bill. However, Patient First can only help explain bills after the insurance company has taken action. If your insurance company has not already taken action on a claim, you should call them before calling Patient First.

For faster and more accurate assistance, you should be prepared to provide:

  • the name of the patient
  • the name of the person who accepts financial responsibility for the bill (guarantor)
  • the account number shown on your bill
  • the date the service was received
  • You should also have your insurance card available in case we need the name of the insurance company, your policy number, or other information displayed on the card.

For your convenience, we are available from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Patient First routinely bills insurance companies within two days of the date of service. If the insurer does not respond within 60 days, we assume that our billing information is invalid or incorrect or that the patient did not have the listed health insurance plan in force at the time of service and we will bill the patient. If the bill was sent to the wrong insurer, please call us to give us the correct information and then we will be glad to submit your claim.

We want to help you resolve issues concerning your account. However, we cannot answer questions about your health insurance benefits. Insurance plans have payment levels and payment rules which vary by individual patient and which may change over time. Although we can explain why we are billing you and what the bill is for, you should direct questions about why your visit wasn’t covered or why your benefits were reduced to your insurance company.

It is our standard procedure to ask you for your insurance card at each visit, so always bring your most recent insurance card with you. It is especially important to do so if your insurance coverage has changed for some reason. When you present your card, the receptionist will confirm the insurance information on file and update your account with any changes. We find that most billing problems arise because a patient’s bill was sent to an incorrect insurance company. Also, be prepared at the time of service to make co-payments or pay the co-insurance required by your insurance plan.

Click here to view our payment policy.

Patient First accepts all major health insurance plans and will file claims for you. To determine if we participate with your plan, please visit our Insurance Participation page.

How much you pay for your visit depends on your insurance plan.

If you do not have insurance or have an insurance with which do not participate, Patient First offers an economical Self-Pay program. To view the self-pay prices for office visit charges and add-on services, select your state.

Maryland

New Jersey

Pennsylvania

Virginia

Co-Payment – The fixed out-of-pocket cost you pay for a visit, defined by your insurance plan.

Deductible – The cumulative amount you must pay out-of-pocket for visits and services before your insurance begins to pay on any visit or service. If your deductible isn’t met, you may be responsible for as much as the entire visit cost.

Co-Insurance – The percentage of visit and service charges you pay after your deductible is met.

At Patient First, if a patient has commercial insurance with which we do not participate, her or she is welcome to register on a self-pay basis and be seen. To learn more about our self-pay options, please visit our self-pay page.

Unfortunately, federal law prohibits us (or any other provider) from accepting a patient with government insurance coverage (such as Medicare, Tricare or Medicaid) on a self-pay basis.