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THE HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM IN VIRGINIA
MEDICAL LEVELS OF CARE AND MEDICAL REFERRALS
This diagram shows in a non-technical way how each level
of care can move the patient to the next level of care.
|LEVEL ONE: PRIMARY CARE
Most of us have become familiar with the term primary care physician.
The primary or first level of care - for example, those health and
medical needs treated by your family physician in an office - usually
only requires your personal or family physician.
|Primary Care Physician, Family Physician or Public Health Clinic
||LEVEL TWO: SPECIALTY PHYSICIAN CARE
||Sometimes a primary care physician will seek the opinion of a
specialist concerning treatment. Your primary care physician may refer
you to a medical specialist in the medical field that is needed.
||LEVEL THREE: HOSPITAL CARE
||The medical opinions of the specialist and the primary care physician
can form the basis for a referral to a third level of care - outpatient
hospital services or an ambulatory (outpatient) surgical center. Should 24-hour care be needed, you could be
referred for inpatient care.
||Acute Care General Hospital or Ambulatory Surgical Center
||LEVEL FOUR: SPECIALTY HOSPITAL CARE
||Sometimes special equipment or highly specialized physicians are needed to return a patient to health. The fourth level of care may require a specialty acute care hospital. It may be a teaching or research hospital or other specialty unit or facility.
||Specialty Acute Care Hospital
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