- How To Find An Endocrinologist In Houston
- What Is An Endocrinologist?
- What Happens During The First Visit To An Endocrinologist?
- What Types of Tests Do Endocrinologist Perform?
- What Do Endocrinologist Specialize In?
- How To Find An Endocrinologist In Houston Who Accepts Medicare
- Contact Your Medicare Advantage Plan To Find An Endocrinologist In Houston
- Medicare Advantage Plan Networks
- Medicare Advantage Plan HMOs vs PPOs
- 3 Steps To Finding An Endocrinologist That Accept Your Medicare Advantage Plan
- Find Houston Endocrinologist That Accept Your Employer’s Health Insurance
- Find Houston Endocrinologists That Accept Medicaid
- Harris Health System’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Program
- FQHCs In Houston That Offer Endocrinology Care
How To Find An Endocrinologist In Houston
In this guide I will show you how to find an endocrinologist in Houston.
The endocrine care that is available to you will be based on the type of health coverage that you have. Obviously, the more medial coverage you have the better treatment you will receive, however, you might be surprised at the amount of help that is available even if you are uninsured.
I’m Nick Bryant, founder of HoustonCaseManagers.com where I help medical professionals and citizens find the community resources like specialty doctors and low cost medical clinics to receive the treatment they need.
Today I will provide you with step by step instructions on finding an endocrinologist in Houston, no matter if you have health insurance or not. Before talking about the endocrinology treatment options available lets first discuss what is an endocrinologist?
What Is An Endocrinologist?
An endocrinologist is a medical doctor who specializes in disorders affecting the hormones and glands of the human body.
These doctors are often referred to as hormone specialists because they often determine the treatment plans for people with hormonal disorders, such as:
- Thyroid Disorders
- Low Testosterone
- Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome
- High blood pressure
Endocrinologists are able to diagnose conditions by performing tests and performing procedures, like testing the person’s blood to determine HbA1c levels or testing the person’s thyroid function.
What Happens During The First Visit To An Endocrinologist?
When a patient visits an endocrinologist, he or she will first be asked to fill out a health history form that details their symptoms, medications, and other information about the person.
After this, the doctor could perform tests including an electrocardiogram, laboratory tests, and a physical examination.
During the physical examination, the doctor will look for signs of thyroid dysfunction such as enlarged thyroid, hair loss, and depression. If your endocrinologists suspects that there are problems they can schedule an appointment where they can closely examine the thyroid.
What Types of Tests Do Endocrinologist Perform?
Endocrinologists perform tests that diagnose problems with your hormones. Some of these tests include:
- Diabetes Tests – Diabetes test measure things like your blood sugar and how well you convert food to energy. These tests are done in 3 ways which include a plasma glucose test, fasting plasma glucose test, and an oral glucose test.
- Thyroid Tests – The thyroid-stimulating hormone test is used to diagnose thyroid disease. Your thyroid gland releases hormones that impact your weight, breathing, heart, metabolism and more.
- Hormone Growth Tests – Blood tests are used to diagnose growth-hormone conditions. Increased hormone growth leads to conditions like extreme height, headaches, high blood pressure or pre-diabetes. Decreased hormone growth can result in reduced muscle/bone mass, insomnia, high cholesterol or stunted growth.
- Bone Tests – These tests check the calcium in your blood. A lack of calcium could result in abnormal vitamin D levels and bone loss.
- Reproduction Tests – These tests can diagnose menopause in women. They can also tell women whether or not she has enough eggs for fertility.
What Do Endocrinologist Specialize In?
Some endocrinologists specialize in certain diseases. For example, there are endocrinology specialists who focus on disorders involving the pituitary gland.
In general, the endocrinologists have extensive experience dealing with patients with thyroid diseases, diabetes, obesity, and other endocrine disorders.
They also have training in handling all of these problems from a patient’s diagnosis to treatment. They are expected to be able to assess the need for medications, recommend treatments, and monitor a patient’s health progress.
How To Find An Endocrinologist In Houston Who Accepts Medicare
There are 6 ways to find a Houston endocrinologist in Houston who accepts Medicare insurance, which are:
- Visit Medicare.com (original Medicare)
- Call the customer service number on back of your Medicare card (original Medicare)
- Use your employer health coverage
- Contact a Houston health care system (original Medicare)
- Google an endocrinologist near you (original Medicare)
- Contact your managed Medicare plan (Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part C clients)
The first method of finding an endocrinologist in Houston who accepts Medicare is to visit the Medicare.gov.
Here you can search for a doctor in your city/zip code. You can also use this tool to find providers like doctors, hospitals, or nursing homes that accept Medicare.
Use Your Medicare Card
Another way to find a Houston endocrinologist who accepts Medicare is to call the number (800.633.4227) on the back of your “red, white, and blue card”. This is a customer service number that you can call to receive multiple doctors in your zip code within the specialty of your choice.
Houston Hospital Systems That Offer Endocrinology Care
If there is a Houston hospital system that you trust, consider searching for a Houston endocrinologist in their network. Since Medicare is accepted by most medical providers there is a good chance that the hospital system of your choice will be willing to work with your insurance.
Here is a short list of Houston hospitals that offer diabetes and endocrinology care.
- University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – Contact the MD Anderson Endocrine Center at 855.711.9908 to receive treatment of endocrine diseases.
- Houston Methodist – Methodist Hospital offers 3 Endocrinology and diabetes clinics in Houston. These are located in the Texas Medical Center, Pearland, and Meyerland area. You can contact their medical center clinic at 713.441.0006 for more information.
- St. Luke’s Houston – The Baylor St. Luke’s Endocrinology Center specializes in treating diseases of the endocrine glands like; thyroid, hyperthyroidism, neuroendocrine tumors and diabetes. There are 3 St. Luke’s endocrinology clinics located in the medical center, Spring, and the Woodlands. You can learn more about their programs by calling 832.355.1000.
- Memorial Hermann Hospital – Hermann offers a number of diabetes management locations to help you manage things like diabetes type 1, type 2, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes. You can find a listing of diabetes centers on the Memorial Hermann website.
- HCA Houston Healthcare – You can also find Houston endocrinologists in the HCA system.
Google Search “Endocrinologist In Houston”
The last way to find a local endocrinologist is to use Google.
To do this, you simply need to type the words: “endocrinologist in houston” into the search bar and you will be presented with a listing of options.
Because most doctors accept Medicare, there is a good chance that you will find an endocrinologist that accepts your insurance by doing a quick Google search. To be on the safe side you still need to directly ask the questions “do you accept Medicare”?
Contact Your Medicare Advantage Plan To Find An Endocrinologist In Houston
Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C or MA Plans) is a Medicare plan that is managed by a private insurance company.
Editor’s note: Companies like Aetna, Humana, Cigna HealthSprings, United Healthcare, and Wellcare are examples of companies who offer Medicare Advantage plans in Houston.
Medicare Advantage Plan Networks
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan you will need to contact your specific company, because your plan likely has a network of doctors, clinics, and hospitals that they exclusively work with. If you were to visit a doctor outside of your plan’s network, your insurance company may not cover the cost of services.
Medicare Advantage Plan HMOs vs PPOs
Another reason to contact your Medicare Advantage is to find a doctor within your HMO or PPO network.
An insurance company like Aetna can offer both HMO or PPO Medicare Advantage plans.
HMO plans have a specific network of “preferred providers” that they work with. If you see a doctor outside of this network, your insurance may not cover your claim.
Also HMO plans require that you obtain a referral from your primary care doctor before you see a specialist like an endocrinologist. If you have an HMO plan and see an endocrinologist without a referral from your doctor, your insurance company could deny your claim.
PPO plans on the other hand allow you to see doctors outside of their “preferred providers”. It is worth noting that if you have a PPO and visit a doctor or clinic outside of the preferred providers list your services will be more expensive.
Because of these nuances within Medicare Advantage it is important to contact your specific plan when searching for an endocrinologist in Houston. Here is how you would do that…
3 Steps To Finding An Endocrinologist That Accept Your Medicare Advantage Plan
Step #1. Call Your Specific Insurance Plan
To find a Houston endocrinologist that accepts your health insurance plan you simply need to call the number on the back of your Medicare Advantage card. This means your Aetna, Humana, Cigna, or United Healthcare card.
Step #2. Ask For An Endocrinologist In Your Zip Code
After calling your Medicare Advantage plan’s customer service number you will then ask for an endocrinologist in your zip code. The customer service representative will provide you with listing doctors in your area.
Step #3. Call Your Listing To See If They Are Accepting New Patients
From that point you will need to call each endocrinologist to see if they are accepting new patients. Your insurance company can provide you a listing of in-network endocrinologists, however, they cannot tell you if they are accepting new patients.
The main take away from all this is:
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, contact your specific insurance company to find a listing of Houston endocrinologists that are in their network.
Failing to do this could lead to your insurance company denying.
Find Houston Endocrinologist That Accept Your Employer’s Health Insurance
If you have health insurance through your job, you certainly can find an endocrinologist that accepts your coverage.
Your search for an endocrinologist starts by calling the customer service number on the back of your card. Do this and ask for an endocrinologist near your zip code and they will provide you with a handful of doctors to contact.
Contact each doctor on your list to see if any are accepting new patients. Although that doctor may very well be in your health insurance’s network they may not be accepting new patients. Call them over the phone to confirm this to be on the safe side.
In the next section we will talk about health insurance networks and why they are important when it comes to choosing a doctor.
Employer Health Insurance HMOs vs PPOs
Like Medicare Advantage Plans, employer health insurance plans also come in the form of HMOs (Health Maintenance Organization) and PPOs (Preferred Provide Organization).
The reason it is important to know whether you have an HMO or PPO is because the networks are different. Here is what I mean…
An HMO has a specific network of doctors that they cover the cost of services for. If you visit a doctor outside of your HMO network, your insurance plan will not cover those charges.
A PPO on the other hand allows you to see doctors outside of its network of “preferred providers” however, you will pay more for going outside of the network.
Another difference between HMOs and PPOs is HMO’s require a doctor’s referral to see a specialist, such as an endocrinologist. If you see an endocrinologist without being referred by your primary care doctor, your health insurance plan could deny your claim.
If you have a PPO plan you do not need a referral to have your visit to an endocrinologist covered by your insurance plan.
Find Houston Endocrinologists That Accept Medicaid
If you have Medicaid there are two ways to find an endocrinologists that accepts your coverage:
- Use the TMHP Provider Search
- Contact Your Medicaid managed care plan
TMHP Provider Search
The TMHP or Texas Medicaid & Healthcare Partnership tool can be used to find doctors who accept Medicaid.
You can use these options to quickly find a Medicaid doctor who treats endocrinology.
- Select your Medicaid plan – Medicaid plans are divided into Traditional, Star, StarPlus, StarKids, etc. You can use this dropdown menu to select your specific Medicaid plan.
- Choose your provider type – Here you can select a primary care doctor, hospital, mental health facility, etc.
- Select the location of your provider – You can find a provider near you based on the zip code or city.
Contact Your Medicaid Managed Plan
The second way to find an endocrinologist in Houston is to search according to your specific Medicaid managed plan.
Star is a Medicaid plan that covers children and pregnant women.
Below are the healthcare companies which fall under the Star Medicaid Plan. These plans cover residents in the counties of Austin, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, and Wharton.
- Amerigroup – 800.600.4411
- Community Health Choice – 888.760.2600 or 713.295.2294
- Molina – 866.449.6849
- Texas Children’s Health Plan – 866.959.2555
- United Healthcare Community Plan – 866.411.1337
Star Kids covers children 18 and under who have a disability.
Below are the healthcare companies which fall under the Star Kids Medicaid Plan. These plans cover residents in the counties of Austin, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, and Wharton.
- Amerigroup – 844.756.4600
- Texas Children’s Health Plan – 800.659.5764
- United Healthcare – 877.761.2157
Star Plus is a Medicaid plan that covers adults over 65 years old who have a disability.
Below are the healthcare companies which fall under the Star Plus Medicaid Plan for this region.
Editor’s note: The benefits for Star Plus members who are in a nursing home will differ from those who are not. When you call the customer service numbers below be sure to specify whether you are in a nursing home or not.
CHIP is a Medicaid plan that covers the children of working parents.
Below are the healthcare companies which fall under the CHIP Medicaid Plan for this region.
- Amerigroup – 800.600.4441
- Community Health Choice – 888.760.2600
- Molina – 866.449.6849
- Texas Children’s Health Plan – 877.543.7669
- United Healthcare – 877.380.2996
Harris Health System’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Program
Harris Health System is a good option for individuals seeking an endocrinologist in Houston who are considered either low-income or uninsured.
They offer a Diabetes and Endocrinology Program to it’s Harris Health System patients. The program is housed at the Smith Clinic which is located in the Houston Medical Center.
To see an endocrinologist in this network, you will first need to apply for the Gold Card. This is an insurance plan that is accepted at Harris Health System clinics. You can apply for the Gold Card by completing an application and delivering to a Harris Health eligibility center.
The following Harris Health Clinics offer low-cost endocrinology care in Houston:
- El Franco Lee – 8901 Boone Rd, Houston, TX 77099 – 281.454.0500
- Danny Jackson – 5503 N. Fry Rd, Katy, TX 77449 – 713.982.7071
For more information about the Harris Health Gold Card you can call their eligibility line at 713.566.6509.
FQHCs In Houston That Offer Endocrinology Care
The last option for finding a Houston endocrinologist is visiting a local FQHC or federally qualified health center. These clinics provide another option of those who are uninsured in Houston or considered low-income.
Editor’s note: An FQHC is a community clinic that is supported by government funding. These clinics are typically located in low-income areas to provide access to medical care for uninsured individuals.
The following Houston FQHC clinics offer diabetes and endocrinology care to patients.
- Legacy Clinic – Legacy has 3 clinics in the Houston area that offer endocrinology services. The clinics are located in the Montrose area, SW Houston and the Baytown clinic offers endocrinology. For more information you can contact Legacy at 832.548.5000.
- St. Mary’s Clinic – This clinic is located in the East End neighborhood. Here they treat a number of chronic conditions including diabetes. The number to schedule an appointment at St Marys is 713.803.1840.
- Pasadena Community Health Center – If you need diabetes care in Pasadena, TX this clinic can help you. You can schedule an appointment by calling 713.893.5411.
- Spring Branch Community Health – This healthcare network has a number of FQHC clinics in the Spring Branch area of Houston. Diabetes is one of the chronic conditions treated at Spring Branch Community Health. Contact them at 713.462.6565.
For more listings of Houston clinics that may provide endocrinology services see our guided titled 15 Low Cost Medical Clinics In Houston For The Uninsured.
When it comes to finding an endocrinologist in Houston there is good news and bad news.
The good news is that we live in the medical capitol of the world so there are plenty of endocrinologists to treat you.
The bad news is that it can be increasingly difficult to navigate the healthcare system to find these doctors.
If you are insured you’ll want to first speak with your primary care doctor, because they can probably help you with a referral to receive treatment for diabetes, thyroid or any other hormone related issues you may have. This is the easiest route.
If you are uninsured you have less options, however, you too can still receive adequate health care. You will want to consider low cost health clinics in Houston or apply for the Gold Card.
Similar Articles That May Interest You:
- The Definitive Guide To Diabetes Programs In Houston
- 15 Low Cost Medical Clinics To Treat You Even If You Are Uninsured
- How To Apply For Harris Health Gold Card
Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 11 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, walks with the doggo and wife, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans, and sharing community resources. Jump on the Houston Case Managers email list to receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.