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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome To THIPA (Torrance Health IPA)

Welcome to Torrance Health IPA (THIPA), your physician network

We are very pleased that you have selected THIPA as your physician network. As a nonprofit multi-specialty physician network and a division of Torrance Memorial Health System, THIPA has been serving the South Bay community for more than 30 years. As our member, you will benefit from convenient access to a multi-specialty network of more than 450 physicians, and seamless coordination of your care between them.

THIPA is not your insurance or health plan. We contract with your health plan that provides financial coverage for your medical care. As your “Medical Group”, THIPA provides the medical care covered by your health plan.

Here are a few reasons we encourage you to consider becoming a THIPA member:

  1. Self-Referral to specialists. This allows members to access many specialists without a referral and without prior authorization. You can make an appointment with these specialists directly and save time and money. No other physician network in the South Bay offers this program. (THIPA self-referral roster)
  2. Expansive selection of primary care physicians and specialists.
  3. A local Member Services team serving THIPA senior members personally. Dedicated team members offer one-on-one assistance with all of your medical questions or concerns.
  4. Conveniently located Urgent Care centers in Torrance and Manhattan Beach.
  5. Up to 40% discount on exercise and health classes offered by Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and special THIPA senior member discounted rate at South End Racquet & Health Club.
  6. Ambulatory Case Management, available when needed, to coordinate your (or a loved one's) complex care needs.
  7. Medication Review by a pharmacist, a monthly luncheon only for THIPA members.
  8. THIPA "Senior Living" newsletter, providing information on benefits and services available to THIPA Members, as well as general health and medical information important to members.
  9. A member-based Senior Advisory Board, dedicated to improving senior health care and senior access to health care for THIPA Members and for the community.
  10. Serving only the South Bay and surrounding areas since 1983 - for 30 years. In other words, South Bay is our only service area.
  11. THIPA is a division of the non-profit and award-wining Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

What is an IPA?

IPA stands for "Independent Practice Association". Independently practicing physicians (physicians with their own independent practices) join an IPA, and you as member of the IPA can see any of these doctors.

What makes THIPA special?

THIPA is a multi-specialty physician network and a division of Torrance Memorial Health System. THIPA has been serving the South Bay community for more than 30 years. As our member, you will benefit from convenient access to high-quality and personalized care from from over 450 primary care and specialist physicians, and seamless coordination of your care between them.

THIPA is not your insurance or health plan. We contract with your health plan that provides financial coverage for your medical care. As your “Medical Group”, or "IPA" , THIPA provides the medical care covered by your health plan.

Here are some of the reasons we encourage you to join us as a THIPA Member:

  • THIPA achieved the Elite Status -5 Stars for the CAPG Standards of Excellence Survey 2017 from California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG). Click here for CAPG Press Release.
  • THIPA was awarded 4 Star Rating for Medicare Advantage Members.
  • Thank YOU SOUTH BAY Communityfor voting THIPA “South Bay’s Best Medical Group”, for the 5th year in a row!
  • ONLY at THIPA! See A Specialist without a referral!
    Click Here to learn about THIPA's Self-Referral.
  • Same Day Appointments *Check with you primary care physician for availability
  • DIRECT physician to physician referrals
  • More than 450 Primary Care Doctors and Specialists.Click Here to Find A Doctor. Click Here for THIPA's Physician Directory.
  • Convenient Lab and digital X-ray *services available at select locations.
  • Urgent Care Centers in Torrance and Manhattan Beach
  • Most Health Plans and Medicare Plans Accepted
  • Patient Online Portal*Check with you primary care physician for availability
  • Care Management for Patients with Chronic Health Conditions
  • Click Here to view Discounted Exercise Classes at Torrance Memorial

How many physicians can I choose from?

How do I schedule an appointment with my primary care physician (PCP)?

When you choose your THIPA PCP, you receive your insurance member ID card in the mail with your PCP’s name and phone number on it. You just need to call that number to schedule an appointment.

A Physician directory is available for download at thipa.org/physiciandirectory.

Call Member Services at 866-568-4472, for a hard copy.

Print-friendly THIPA Provider Directory

What if I need to see a specialist? How do I get a referral?

Our referral process is unique, fast and easy. If the special care you need is on our “self-referral” specialty list, you can make the appointment yourself without a referral from your PCP. The self-referral list includes care managers, cardiologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, OB/GYNs, orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, pulmonologists, and urologists. For other specialties, your PCP will help you get a referral.

** THIPA is the only medical group in the South Bay offering members this unique referral benefit, allowing you to enjoy the freedom of seeing these specialists without a referral, while enjoying the cost savings of your HMO health plan.

How do I get information about UM process and the authorization of my care?

If you have questions about an existing authorization or would like to sumbit an authorization, you can reach the THIPA Utilization Management department by calling

Member Services at (866) 568-4472

Hearing Impaired TTY/TDD: 711

Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Where do I go for laboratory services?

THIPA is contracted with Quest Diagnostics. Call Quest Diagnostics at 1-866-697-8378 or review THIPA Physician Directory (Click Here) for a list of locations and office hours.

Where do I go for radiology procedures?

This depends on the type of radiology procedure requested by your doctor.

  • For imaging services: Torrance Memorial Polak Imaging Pavilion
  • For MRI services: Torrance Memorial Radiology
  • For mammograms: Torrance Memorial Breast Diagnostic Center

Your PCP can tell you which facility to use for what’s needed. If you need further assistance, call THIPA Member Services at 1-866-568-4472.

Where do I go for an emergency?

We recommend that you use Torrance Memorial Medical Center Emergency Room when possible.

The physicians there have access to many of your health records and can provide you with the best care available.

Please be aware that if you need care after hours, and it is NOT an emergency, your insurance may not cover the costs of a visit to any other emergency facilities other than Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

What if I need urgent care or care after hours?

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

For issues that are not life-threatening, always call your PCP first. When you call, you’ll hear a message with an after-hours number and instructions to follow. If you can’t reach your physician, please go to one of our preferred urgent care facilities below:

• Torrance Memorial Urgent Care: Torrance

22411 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA 90505 (Just South of Sepulveda in the Gable House Business Center)

1-310-784-3740 Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Weekends and major holidays: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

• Torrance Memorial Urgent Care: Manhattan Beach

855 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Ste 101, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

1-310-939-7873 Hours: Monday - Friday, 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Weekends and major holidays: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

If you need urgent care and you are out of area (more than 30 miles away):

• We encourage our members to use our contracted urgent care centers listed above. If you are out of area and need to use an out of network urgent care center, contact your health plan for a list of urgent care centers that your benefits cover.

What if I need hospital based services?

THIPA is soley contracted with the award-winning Torrance Memorial Medical Center. You will be cared for by a team of hospitalists. These are physicians who specialize in caring for patients in the hospital. They will work with your primary care physician to coordinate your care.

What if I want to change my PCP? How do I find another one?

To select from a list of Primary Care Physician ( PCPs) contracted with THIPA,click here to search by name, specialty or zip code or for a hard copy of the physician directory.

If you need further assistance, you can always call THIPA Member Services at 1-866-568-4472, TTY Users call: 711.

What if I already know the PCP I want to change to?

You can call the Member Services number on your health insurance plan Member ID card . Let them know who you want to select as your new physician and they’ll take it from there.

If you are a THIPA member, remember to ask them to keep you under Torrance Health IPA (THIPA) as your medical group or IPA.

** Look for your new insurance card:

Make sure your information and your doctor’s name is listed correctly and that it says “Torrance Health IPA” or “THIPA” on your card.

If this information is incorrect, call your insurance company and request that they correct the information.

The Member Service’s number can be found on the back of your insurance card.

Do I need to inform my physician if I change insurance?

Yes. Always inform your physician's office when you change insurance. Your insurance coverage may vary with a new policy and your physician needs to know this.

What if I lose my insurance card?

If you lose your insurance card, call your health plan member services department and they will send you a new card.

WIll my newborn baby be covered under my insurance?

Yes. Your newborn baby will be covered under your insurance for the first 30 days following birth. During that time, you must enroll your newborn as an individual so there will be no lapse in coverage.

What if I have more than one insurance policy?

Let your physician know. There are different policies regarding different insurance that you and your physician need to follow. You will not be able to coordinate benefits between your insurance policies unless your physician knows you have this option.

Can family members each select their own primary care physician?

Yes. Each family member can select a different primary care physician. For example, a woman may select a family practitioner, her husband an internist, and their children a pediatrician.

Can I change my primary care physician?

Yes. You may change your primary care physician by contacting your health plan. Call the health plan member services telephone number on your insurance card.

If you do plan to change your Primary Care Physician, please be sure they are a THIPA Physician.

If you need help choosing a THIPA doctor, please call our THIPA Member Services team at 866-568-4472.

Print-friendly THIPA Provider Directory

Should I always show my insurance card when I visit my physician?

Yes. It is best to always present your most current insurance information at each visit.

Join Us For Members Our Doctors Health Resources About Admin Members: 866-568-4472 (TTY Users: 711)
Administrative Offices: 310-257-7250
Mon.-Fri, 8:30 am- 5:00 pm
23326 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 200
Torrance CA 90505
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