Social Services FAQs

Q. What is Social Services Department objective?

The Social Services Department provides BCHC patients with assistance for social, emotional, financial, and medical needs.

Q. Are Walk-ins welcome or are appointments needed to be seen by the Social Services Department staff?

Appointments are not needed. Patients are seen on a walk-in basis. Appointments are provided for patients upon request.

Q. Who can be seen by the Social Services Department staff?
Only active BCHC patients may be attended to by staff.

Q. What is a Specialty Referral?

A specialty referral is a request initiated by the patient’s Primary Care Provider (PCP) in order for the patient to be seen by a specialist for medical care that is beyond the patient’s doctor’s (PCP) expertise.

Q. Does the Social service department issue Specialty Referrals?

No. All Specialty referrals are initiated by the patient’s doctor (PCP) and not by social services staff.

Q. What type of referrals does Social Service issues?

Social Service staff issues referrals to other community Social Service agencies, such as local area food banks, shelters, etc.

Q. What are the Social Service Department hours of operations?

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Q. What is Patient Identity Verification?

Patient Identity Verification is a process in which all patients who are seen through the Social Service Department are properly identified. Only BCHC patients will be served. No other person can be seen in the department on behalf of the patient without direct written consent from the patient. A patient may be accompanied by a family member, friend, etc.

Q. When are prior-authorizations required?

Prior- Authorizations are required for certain services/procedures that are frequently over or under-utilized, or services indicating a need for care management. Authorizations MUST be requested before the services are rendered.

Q. What is the difference between referrals and authorizations?

A Referral or Diagnostic Order is provided by a provider or specialist.

An authorization is requested from a third-party payor such as Cameron County Public Health, Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance.

Q. Who can obtain Authorizations?

PCPs MUST obtain authorizations for certain services. The Specialist may obtain authorizations once the PCP has given referral to the Specialist. Only PCPs and Specialists can initiate the Prior Authorization Process.

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