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Glossary

This glossary explains terms in the Medicare program, but it is not a legal document. The official Medicare program provisions are found in the relevant laws, regulations, and rulings.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M
 
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Term Definition
FACILITY CHARGE

Some plans may vary cost shares for services based on place of treatment; in effect, charging a cost for the facility in which the service is received.

FEDERALLY QUALIFIED HEALTH CENTER (FQHC)

Health centers that have been approved by the government for a program to give low cost health care. Medicare pays for some health services in FQHCs that are not usually covered, like preventive care. FQHCs include community health centers, tribal health clinics, migrant health services, and health centers for the homeless.

FEE SCHEDULE

A complete listing of fees used by health plans to pay doctors or other providers.

FISCAL INTERMEDIARY

A private company that has a contract with Medicare to pay Part A and some Part B bills. (Also called "Intermediary.")

FISCAL YEAR

For Medicare, a year-long period that runs from October 1st through September 30th of the next year. The government and some insurance companies follow a budget that is planned for a fiscal year.

FORMULARY

A list of certain drugs and their proper dosages. In some Medicare health plans, doctors must order or use only drugs listed on the health plan's formulary.

FORMULARY DRUGS

Listing of prescription medications which are approved for use and/or coverage by the plan and which will be dispensed through participating pharmacies to covered enrollees.

FRAUD AND ABUSE

Fraud: To purposely bill for services that were never given or to bill for a service that has a higher reimbursement than the service produced. Abuse: Payment for items or services that are billed by mistake by providers, but should not be paid for by Medicare. This is not the same as fraud.

FREE LOOK (MEDIGAP POLICY)*

A period of time (usually 30 days) when you can try out a Medigap policy. During this time, if you change your mind about keeping the policy, it can be cancelled. If you cancel, you will get your money back.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA)

A law that requires the U.S. Government to give out certain information to the public when it receives a written request. FOIA applies only to records of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, not to those of the Congress or Federal courts, and does not apply to state governments, local governments, or private groups.

*NOTE: An asterisk (*) after a term means that this definition, in whole or in part, is used with permission from Walter Feldesman, ESQ., Dictionary of Eldercare Terminology, Copyright 2000.

This glossary explains terms in the Medicare program, but it is not a legal document. The official Medicare program provisions are found in the relevant laws, regulations,and rulings.
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Date Last Updated: September 23, 2004

 

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