Referrals

Start at Cornell Health 

We always recommend seeing a Cornell Health medical or mental health provider before scheduling an appointment with an off-campus provider. Keep in mind that some specialists require a referral from a primary care provider before seeing you, so a visit to Cornell Health may be an important first step in getting care.

Referrals from Cornell Health

A Cornell Health referral to a health care provider in the Ithaca area (or elsewhere) may be appropriate for the following reasons:

  • If your physical or mental health needs require services beyond the scope of what we provide at Cornell Health (e.g., specialty care)
  • If you want to see a specialist who requires a referral from a primary care provider before providing care
  • If you prefer to receive primary medical care or counseling services off campus (or at home)

To discuss or request a referral:

  • Talk with your Cornell Health provider, or 
  • Speak with a member of our Referrals nursing team (call 607-255-5155

*** New 2019*** Telehealth specialty medical visits with Weill Cornell

Weill Cornell telehealth visits may be an option for students who need care related to one of these specialties: 

  • Pain Management
  • Urology
  • Dermatology
  • Cardiology
  • Endocrinology

Telehealth appointments are online video visits delivered through your cell phone or another mobile device.* Typically, these video visits are most appropriate for medical concerns that don’t require an extensive exam or medical workup (e.g., a biopsy), or that may require a second opinion, or a chart or record review.  Video visits may also be ideal for students with certain insurances with limited coverage in the Ithaca area or who have specific challenges with transportation or scheduling.

If you would like a telehealth visit, here's what to do:

  • First, talk with your primary care provider (PCP)
  • If your PCP makes a referral to a specialist, you may be able to consider a Weill Cornell telehealth / video visit, if clinically appropriate for your condition or care
  • A referral nurse will help coordinate the logistics

*If you have challenges with securing a mobile device for this purpose, or need a private space to conduct a video visit, contact us at Cornell Health and we will help you find a secure place within the building.

Finding providers that participate with your insurance

SHP / SHP+ members:

When seeing a non-Cornell provider, Student Health Plan (SHP or SHP+) members will get the best coverage by seeing an Aetna participating provider (i.e., in-network provider). For SHP members, there is typically a $25 copay for medical visits (tests and procedures will cost more), and a $10 copay for mental health visits. SHP+ members have no copay for visits.

SHP & SHP+ also provide coverage for non-participating providers, usually with a $400 plan year deductible and then a 30% co-insurance.

   To find participating providers and facilities ...

  • Visit Aetna's DocFind
  • Enter the zip code for where you want to receive care
  • When prompted, select “Student Health Medical Plans / Open Choice PPO” as the plan type
  • When you call to make an appointment, ask to make sure the provider is in-network with Aetna Student Health; DocFind is occasionally out of date

   Visit Student Health Benefits to ...

If you need assistance, please contact Student Health Benefits at 607-255-6363.

*Please note that referrals are not required by SHP and SHP+.* 

Those with private insurance:

It's always a good idea to call your insurance company (the number will be on your insurance card) and ask the following questions about the provider you want to see:

  • Does the office / facility participate with your insurance (i.e., is it an in-network provider)?
  • If not, what are other options for in-network providers in the area?
  • Is pre-authorization required for this visit or test?
  • Is a referral or pre-authorization required from your home primary care provider?
  • How much will your insurance cover, and how much will you be responsible for?

If you need assistance with this process, please contact Student Health Benefits (607-255-6363).

If we’re closed and you need immediate care ...

Please refer to our Emergencies & After-Hours page for information about accessing care at the hospital or an urgent care provider in Ithaca. You may also call us 24/7 for consultation about urgent concerns (607-255-5155).