Medicare is a federal insurance program which primarily serves those over 65 years old and younger, disabled people and dialysis patients. Medicare is divided into two parts:
- Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital services, nursing home care, home health care and hospice care.
- Medicare Part B helps pay the cost of doctors' services, outpatient hospital services, medical equipment and supplies and other health services and supplies.
- The primary care physician (can be an internist, pediatrician, family physician, or OB/Gyn) is responsible for all general medical care of the patients and referrals to specialists for tertiary care when medically appropriate.
- The PCP is responsible for providing or authorizing all care (hospitalization, diagnostic, workups and specialty referrals) for that patient.
- Depending on the type of insurance plan, a patient may not be covered for a visit to a specialist without prior approval of the primary care provider.