Glossary

Acronyms
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APPEAL

An appeal is a special kind of complaint you make if you disagree with a decision to deny a request for health care services or payment for services you already received. You may also make a complaint if you disagree with a decision to stop services that you are receiving. For example, you may ask for an appeal if Medicare doesn’t pay for an item or service you think you should be able to get. There is a specific process that your Medicare Advantage Plan or the Original Medicare Plan must use when you ask for an appeal.

APPEAL PROCESS

The process you use if you disagree with any decision about your health care services. If Medicare does not pay for an item or service you have been given, or if you are not given an item or service you think you should get, you can have the initial Medicare decision reviewed again. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan, your appeal rights are on the back of the Explanation of Medicare Benefits (EOMB) or Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) that is mailed to you from a company that handles bills for Medicare. If you are in a Medicare managed care plan, you can file an appeal if your plan will not pay for, or does not allow or stops a service that you think should be covered or provided. The Medicare managed care plan must tell you in writing how to appeal. See your plan's membership materials or contact your plan for details about your Medicare appeal rights. (See also Organization Determination.)

APPROVED AMOUNT

The fee Medicare sets as reasonable for a covered medical service. This is the amount a doctor or supplier is paid by you and Medicare for a service or supply. It may be less than the a tual amount charged by a doctor or supplier. The approved amount is sometimes called the "Approved Charge." (See Actual Charge; Assignment.)

AREA AGENCY ON AGING (AAA)

State and local programs that help older people plan and care for their life-long needs. These needs include adult day care, skilled nursing care/therapy, transportation, personal care, respite care, and meals.

Articles

Educational publications/documents that provide coding and coverage guidance on a subject that also may have an associated LCD. Articles may be categorized as:

  • Key articles: Articles designated by the contractor as being associated/pertinent to a specific LCD(s)
  • FAQ: Article developed due to providers frequent inquiries that provide specific information on a particular topic
  • SAD Exclusion (Self-Administered Drug Exclusion List Article): Articles that list the CPT/HCPCS codes that are excluded from coverage under this category - Self Administered Drug Exclusion Article.
ASSESSMENT

The gathering of information to rate or evaluate your health and needs, such as in a nursing home.

ASSETS

Treasury notes and bonds guaranteed by the federal government, and cash held by the trust funds for investment purposes.

ASSIGNED CLAIM

A claim submitted for a service or supply by a provider who accepts Medicare assignment.

ASSIGNMENT

In the Original Medicare Plan, this means a doctor agrees to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan, it can save you money if your doctor accepts assignment. You still pay your share of the cost of the doctor's visit.

ASSISTED LIVING

A type of living arrangement in which personal care services such as meals, housekeeping, transportation, and assistance with activities of daily living are available as needed to people who still live on their own in a residential facility. In most cases, the "assisted living" residents pay a regular monthly rent. Then, they typically pay additional fees for the services they get.