A written order from your primary care doctor for you to see a specialist or get certain services. In many HMOs, you need to get a referral before you can get care from anyone except your primary care doctor. If you don't get a referral first, the plan may not pay for your care
*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.