Comprehensive coverage is an essential component of high-quality health care because it ensures that people can get specialized health services. That means people with diagnosed medical conditions can get treated by licensed medical specialists who have advanced expertise in those particular conditions. This produces better health outcomes by ensuring that people get the specific type of care they need when they need it.
That’s why Health Plan of San Mateo (HPSM) covers a full range of specialized health services for our members living in San Mateo County. Some of the specialized providers in HPSM’s network include:
- Allergist/Immunologist – Treats allergies (including asthma) and autoimmune conditions (e.g., type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis).
- Cardiologist – Treats disorders of the heart and parts of the circulatory system.
- Dermatologist – Concerned with problems affecting the skin (e.g., acne, eczema, psoriasis).
- Dentist – Specializes in oral health (e.g., teeth, gums, mouth).
- Gastroenterologist – Focuses on the gastrointestinal system (e.g., stomach, intestines, colon, liver).
- Neurologist – Treats disorders of the nerves and nervous system.
- Orthopedist – Focuses on the musculoskeletal system.
- Obstetrician/Gynecologist – Specializes in reproductive issues (e.g., pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum health).
- Urologist – Concerned with urinary system functions and disorders.
Search for specialists in HPSM’s Provider Directory.
The advantage of comprehensive specialized health services coverage
All physicians – from primary care providers (PCPs) to specialized providers – spend many years learning and earning the medical degrees they need to become licensed physicians. PCPs study medicine more generally, which enables them to diagnose and treat a wide range of common conditions. They also provide preventive care that helps people stay healthy. Specialists, in contrast, spend most of their training focused on one particular area of medicine to become experts in treating the conditions associated with it.
When a PCP identifies a potential health issue that would be best treated by someone with expertise in that condition, they may refer the patient to a specialist. That is one reason why seeing a PCP at least once a year is important: because the sooner a condition is diagnosed, the less advanced it will be. That often makes treatment interventions simpler and more successful, which leads to better overall health outcomes. This is especially true when someone has more than one health condition simultaneously.
Specialists know which specific treatments are most likely to cure or manage the particular conditions they specialize in, no matter how complex the disorder or how far it has progressed. People with diseases or injuries requiring a specialist’s expertise therefore need comprehensive health care coverage to ensure they get the specialized services they need when they need them.
Benefits of HPSM's comprehensive coverage
HPSM is one of two health care plans covering San Mateo County residents who qualify for Medi-Cal (i.e., California’s version of the federal Medicaid program). That means our Medi-Cal and CareAdvantage members have access to a robust network of over thousands of specialty providers and a comprehensive set of health benefits.
These benefits include comprehensive dental care through HPSM Dental – California’s first and only dental plan for Medi-Cal recipients that is fully integrated with medical and behavioral health care benefits. This all-in-one care improves our members’ oral health and overall wellness through enhanced care coordination between HPSM, our dental specialists and our medical providers.
While our HealthWorx HMO and Access and Care for Everyone (ACE) programs offer more basic benefits, they do cover some specialized health services. Plus, all HPSM members can join our Complex Care Management program to get an assigned Care Manager who works with the member and all of their providers (PCP and specialists) to meet identified health goals.
How HPSM members can get specialized health services
HPSM members who need non-emergency specialized health services may first need ask their PCP for a referral. Their PCP may also need to ask HPSM for prior authorization before specialized health services can be provided. These processes ensure that the member sees the right kind of specialist and that the services are covered before they are provided.