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Answers to your questions about primary care

At Baystate Health, we provide wellness and preventive care and also treat illnesses and chronic health conditions at locations throughout western Massachusetts.

Below, learn what to expect as a primary care patient. For questions about a specific practice, contact that location directly.

How do I schedule an appointment?

If you don't have a primary care provider, call 413-794-5412 to get started. 

Current patients can also schedule appointments directly online or through the MyBaystate patient portal.

What happens if my provider is not available?

We will try to book you to a member of the provider's team. Same-day sick visits may be with any provider at the center.

Who are the members of my healthcare team?

Your healthcare team members are a primary care provider, often shortened to PCP (who may be a doctor or nurse practitioner/physician’s assistant teamed with a doctor), a nurse, a medical assistant, and a patient service representative.

Will my healthcare team know if I go to the emergency room or hospital?

We know immediately if you go to a Baystate hospital. Otherwise, we usually find out one to three days later.

How can I communicate with my healthcare team?

We encourage you to communicate through the MyBaystate patient portal. If you haven’t joined the portal yet, please ask a member of your care team to help get you started. If the portal is not available to you, you can call and ask for a message to go to your provider's team.

What if I'm late to an appointment?

We understand travel and planning can be difficult, and we can allow for some lateness. Please call us and let us know that you will be late. We will do our best to accommodate you, but you may have to wait until patients who arrive on time are seen.

What if I need to reschedule my appointment?

Call 413-794-5412 to reschedule.

What happens if I miss a scheduled appointment?

Please call and cancel your appointment if you cannot make it—even if it’s that same day. If you’re unable to call and you miss the visit, please call when you can so we can schedule another appointment for you.

Am I allowed to bring someone to my appointment if I want to?

Due to COVID-19, we are not currently allowing visitors to attend most in-office appointments. Please see our current visitor policy for details and exceptions.

When necessary, you may bring someone who will be helpful for your visit. We ask that the other party not discuss their own health issues.

What if I have a form I need completed?

Drop the form at our desk, but please fill in the patient part first. Some forms will require a visit with you and your primary care provider (PCP) to complete. If your form is complex (more than a couple of pages long) or you have not been seen by your PCP recently, please call to schedule an appointment.

Our policy is to have the form completed within 10 business days. If you need a form sooner than that, we will assess your need and our ability to meet your need on a case-by-case basis. We cannot promise it will be done sooner, but we will do our best based on the situation.

What is the policy for cell phone use in primary care practices?

If you are in the waiting room or other public space, we ask that you move outside or away from others to make or take the call. It is okay to use your phone silently while you’re waiting in the exam room, but please do not use your phone during the visit. Please listen to music using headphones and only while you are waiting.

What COVID-19 precautions should I expect in waiting rooms and offices?

  • Whenever possible, we will reduce physical and face-to-face interactions. That means you may be asked to provide insurance or copayment information on the phone before your appointment. It also means that you may be offered a telehealth visit instead of an in-person visit. Your provider’s office will guide you through your options and steps.
  • Depending on your situation, you might have a virtual check-in, you might wait in your car, or you might sit in a waiting room. Often, we can escort you directly to the exam room and skip the waiting room altogether.
  • Windows or plexiglass barriers have been installed at registration desks.
  • In waiting rooms, there are no magazines or pamphlets. You will also notice reduced seating.
  • Everyone is required to wear a mask.