Selecting Your Health Center and Primary Care Provider

With an HMO plan, the plan subscriber and each covered family member chooses a health center and primary care provider (PCP).

The guidelines below will help you choose the health center and PCP that are right for you.

  • Find a provider that’s designated as an HMO PCP. If you have a specific provider in mind, check to see if the provider participates with your HMO plan and which health center the provider belongs to. You may call the provider for information or visit the article, Find doctors in your HMO health center with HMSA’s Find a Doctor tool for instructions on how to look up participating providers and health center information online.
  • Find a health center that fits your needs. Check to see if your desired providers belong to a health center that participates with your HMO plan. Consider the location of provider offices and facilities, such as hospitals, to ensure that medical services are accessible to you.
  • Get information about the provider. Call the provider for office hours and at which hospital the physician practices. Personal preferences, such as a male or female provider or languages spoken, may also influence your choice. Use the Find a Doctor tool on for more details on HMSA participating providers.
  • Verify that your provider of choice is accepting new patients. To provide you with the best care possible, the total number of patients a PCP can care for is limited. If the PCP you select can’t accept new patients you’ll need to select someone else.

Once you choose your PCP, it is important that you know:

  • The location of your PCP’s office.
  • Your PCP’s regular office hours for patient appointments.
  • How to reach your PCP after regular office hours, on weekends and on holidays.
  • Who covers for your PCP when they’re unavailable.