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THIPA FAQs

Welcome to Torrance Health IPA: Your doctor, your hospital, your neighborhood

As a nonprofit multi-specialty physician network and a division of Torrance Memorial Health System, THIPA has been serving the South Bay community since 1983. As a member, you benefit from convenient access to a multi-specialty network of nearly 500 physicians, and seamless coordination of your care between them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What is an IPA?

IPA stands for independent practice association. Independent physicians are a part of a “physician network” or “medical group.” When you choose an IPA or medical group, you can select a primary care physician as your personal physician, and also have access to all the doctors in the network.

Does THIPA handle financial coverage of my medical care?

THIPA is not your insurance provider or health plan. As your medical group, THIPA provides care that’s covered by your health insurance plan.

Why should I choose THIPA?

THIPA has been an active contributor to the South Bay community since 1983, and continues to support residents with unique offerings like self-referral to specialists, personalized support from a local member services team who are easy to access, and a network of nearly 500 physicians. Find out more about our unique benefits by having a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with licensed insurance agent who can review all the options available to you.

How do I find a THIPA doctor?

THIPA has an expansive network of nearly 500 primary care physicians and specialists conveniently located throughout the South Bay. To find the best one for you, talk to a member of our THIPA Member Services team at (310) 257-7250, press 1, search online by specialty, ZIP code or language, or download a print-friendly THIPA provider directory.

Can each family member have their own primary care physician (PCP) or do we all need to see the same doctor?

Yes, each family member can choose a primary care physician based on individual care needs.

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

After you choose your THIPA PCP, you’ll receive an insurance member ID card that lists your PCP’s name and phone number. Simply call that number to schedule an appointment.

How do I get a referral to a specialist?

We make access to specialty care easier for you and your PCP. If the specialist care you need is on our “self-referral” specialty list, you can make the appointment yourself without a referral from your PCP. For other specialties, your PCP will give you a referral.

Can I change my primary care physician?

Yes. To change your primary care physician, call the health plan member services telephone number listed on your insurance card.

Before you change your primary care physician, be sure they are a member of THIPA. To find a THIPA doctor, talk to a member of our THIPA Member Services team at (310) 257-7250, press 1 or toll-free at (866) 568-4472, search online by specialty, ZIP code, or language, or download a print-friendly THIPA provider directory.

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

Call the Member Services number on your health insurance Member ID card and let them know who you want as your THIPA physician.

What if I need care urgently or 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, call your primary care provider and listen to the instructions for getting after-hours care. Otherwise, go to one of the Torrance Memorial Urgent Care centers:

Torrance Memorial Urgent Care


Torrance Memorial Urgent Care


22411 Hawthorne Boulevard
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 784-3740
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Weekends and major holidays: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
855 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Suite 101 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 939-7873
Hours: Monday - Friday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Weekends and major holidays: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What if I need hospital-based services?

The award-winning Torrance Memorial Medical Center is THIPA’s participating hospital. You’ll be cared for by a team of hospitalists who specialize in caring for patients in the hospital. They will coordinate your care with THIPA’s team of specialists and your primary care physician.

Where do I go for laboratory services?

Quest Diagnostics is THIPA’s laboratory services provider. To find a lab near you, call Quest Diagnostics at (866) 697-8378. Your THIPA physician will send lab specimens collected in the office to Quest Diagnostics for analysis.

How do I get information about my pre-service authorization for care, or getting services pre-authorized?

If you have questions about an existing authorization or would like to request an authorization, call Member Services at (310) 257-7250, press 1 or toll-free at (866) 568-4472.

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

Yes. Always inform your physician’s office when you change insurance plans because your coverage may be different under a new policy.

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.

What if I have more than one insurance policy?

Always let your physician’s office know if you have more than one policy. You will not be able to coordinate benefits between your insurance policies unless your physician knows you have this option.

Contact us for answers to more questions