FAQ: Primary Care at MIT Medical/Lexington

Why should I choose an MIT Medical PCP?

There are many benefits of having a PCP at MIT Medical/Lexington:

  • Convenience: Our patients constantly tell us how much they love the ease and convenience of getting their healthcare “right up the hill.” There’s no need to miss half a day of work for a medical appointment when your primary care provider is just a short walk from your workplace.
  • Facility size: MIT Medical is small enough to provide caring, individualized service, but as a patient at MIT Medical/Lexington, you also have access to a wide array of specialty services—at MIT Medical/Cambridge or, when appropriate, throughout the Blue Cross Blue Shield network.
  • Access to the top hospitals: MIT Medical clinicians have close affiliations with world-class hospitals in the Boston area, but members of both Traditional and Choice plans can also choose to be referred to any hospital in the extensive BCBS network.
  • Lower copayments: Having a PCP at MIT Medical means lower copayments for all your medical visits, regardless of where they take place. With a PCP at MIT Medical, you’ll have a $10 copay for all visits that require a copay, even when you’re referred to an outside specialist. (By comparison, if your PCP is outside MIT Medical, your copay is always $20.)

I don’t have a primary care provider (PCP) at MIT Medical right now. How do I choose one?

If you’re currently covered by an MIT health insurance plan, choosing an MIT Medical PCP is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse.

  • Search our providers to see a list of MIT Medical PCPs who are accepting new patients; Lexington providers in that list will be clearly identified. Click on provider names for more information, and follow the instructions on that page to select or switch your PCP.
  • If you’re a new Lincoln Laboratory employee, you can chose an MIT Medical PCP as part of your initial benefits-selection process using MIT’s Atlas Self-Service website.

I’m covered by the MIT Choice Plan. Can I try out a PCP at MIT Medical and change my mind later?

Absolutely! With the MIT Choice Plan, you can choose a PCP at MIT Medical, but if you change your mind at any time, you can use the MIT Medical website to switch to a different MIT Medical PCP or use the Blue Cross Blue Shield website to switch to an outside provider. Members of the MIT Traditional Plan cannot switch to a PCP outside MIT Medical during the year, but they can switch PCPs within MIT Medical at any time.

What if I need lab tests?

You may have your blood drawn at MIT Medical/Lexington. Results are typically available within 24–48 hours. MIT Choice Plan members have the additional option of using any other laboratory service in the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) New England network.

What happens if I need an X-ray?

For urgent x-rays, patients are sent to the Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare facility—a five-minute drive from Lincoln Laboratory. Scheduled tests, such as mammography or ultrasound exams are available at MIT Medical’s Radiology Service in Cambridge. MIT Choice Plan members have the additional option of using any other radiology provider in the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) New England network.

What about copays for healthcare visits?

If you have a PCP at MIT Medical, you’ll pay just $10 for any healthcare visit that requires a copay—even when referred to outside specialists. By comparison, members of the Choice Plan with PCPs outside MIT Medical pay $20 copays for all visits—both with PCPs and with outside specialists.

Can I get care in the evening or on weekends?

Yes. When you need care in the evening or on weekends, you have several options:

  • Urgent Care at MIT Medical/Cambridge: The Urgent Care Service is open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. M – F, and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 
  • Round-the-clock medical advice: Medical advice is available 24/7 by calling 617-253-4481. A triage nurse will call you back and can provide advice about what to do next. During overnight hours, if the triage nurse has questions or concerns about how best to manage the problem, MIT Medical clinicians are on call and will be contacted.
  • In an emergency (for example, a suspected heart attack, stroke, poisoning, or serious injury), you should go directly to the nearest medical facility or call 911. Both Traditional and Choice members will have a $100 copay for emergency room services, but that fee is waived if you’re admitted to the hospital or kept for an observation stay.

If I need to be hospitalized or need elective surgery, where would I go? Do I have to go to Boston?

No, you don’t have to go to Boston. Although MIT Medical is affiliated with world-class hospitals in the Boston area, you can choose to be referred to any hospital in the extensive Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) network. MIT Traditional members have access to the hospitals in Massachusetts. MIT Choice members have access to hospitals throughout the six New England states; however, referrals outside Massachusetts require Blue Cross Blue Shield approval.

If I select a PCP at MIT Medical/Lexington, can I get a referral to see a provider closer to my home (for example, if I need physical therapy)?

In most cases, if you need care in a specialty that is offered at MIT Medical’s Cambridge location, you will be referred there for initial diagnosis and treatment. The PCPs at MIT Medical/Lexington work closely with their colleagues in Cambridge, which insures continuity of care for patients. Your treatment plan may include continuing care in Cambridge or with another provider in the Blue Cross network.

For specialty services that are not available in Cambridge, such as physical therapy, you can go to any network provider. If you have any questions or concerns about your care, you should work with your PCP to determine what’s best for your individual clinical needs.

Since MIT Medical is part of MIT, do I need to worry about confidentiality?

No. Clinicians at MIT Medical will not disclose information about your health or medical treatment to your supervisor, the personnel office, or anyone else. Your health information is strictly protected by the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Massachusetts law, and MIT Medical’s own privacy policy. This includes any information that could be used to identify you or that relates to your health condition, healthcare, or payment for healthcare.