Resources for Providers
Providing Care to Refugees
Refugee Medical Assistance Program (RMAP)
The Refugee Medical Assistance Program (RMAP) is a temporary, federally-funded health benefit program for refugees, asylees, and other special immigrants. RMAP covers the domestic preventive health screening and functions as health insurance coverage for essential health services for the first 60 days after arrival to the US, or 60 days after asylum is granted. For more information call 1-602-542-6644.
Refugee Domestic Preventive Health Screening
All refugees are entitled to a comprehensive preventive health screening within 60 days of arrival or being granted asylum. Both contracted clinics in Arizona apply the current CDC guidelines to their screenings. The intent of this exam is to determine if the refugee has any communicable diseases. The health screening includes:
- Patient medical history
- Full physical exam
- Brief mental health assessment
- Tuberculosis screen and chest X-ray
- Laboratory testing for:
- Hepatitis B/Hepatic Function
- Lead (16 years and younger)
- Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphilis (12 years and older)
- Ova and Parasites
- Hansen's Disease
Records from these screenings can be requested by contacting the refugee screening clinics, which include the Maricopa County Department of Public Health in Maricopa Country and the University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus in Pima County.
The intent of the refugee domestic preventive health screening is to rule out any communicable diseases, not to serve as the refugee's primary care provider. Therefore, if health conditions are known to be present, or arise shortly after arrival, your practice or facility may see the patient prior to their screening.
It is very common for a newly arrived refugee to not remember the name or address of the first health professional that they see after arrival. A simple way to enhance communication between your practice or facility and the screening clinic is to give the refugee a business card during or after the first visit and encourage them to carry it with them. When the refugee arrives at the screening clinic for the preventive health screening, the clinic can ask for the card and will know who their PCP or health provider is and can work with your office for any follow-up care or exam findings.
Medical Requirements for Citizenship
After residing in the United States for one year, refugees are eligible to apply for an adjustment of status to that of a legal permanent resident. Part of this application process to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the completion of an I-693 medical form.
If the refugee has already had a medical exam upon admission as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, they generally do not need to repeat the entire medical exam. For those that have a Class A or B condition identified during their initial overseas exam, the form must be completed by a civil surgeon.
For all other refugee applicants applying for an adjustment of status under Section 209 of the Immigration and Nationality Act the "vaccination sign-off" portion can be completed by an attending physician of a local health department that is voluntarily participating in the Headquarters Office of Adjudications blanket civil surgeon designation.
For more information, please see: