REFERRAL SERVICES

Means any specialty, inpatient, outpatient or laboratory services that are ordered or arranged, but not furnished directly. Certain situations may exist that should be considered referral services for purposes of determining if a physician/group is at substantial financial risk. For example, an MCO may require a physician group/physician to authorize "retroactive" referrals for emergency care received outside the MCO's network. If the physician group/physician's payment from the MCO can be affected by the utilization of emergency care, such as a bonus if emergency referrals are low, then these emergency services are considered referral services and need to be included in the calculation of substantial financial risk. Also, if a physician group contracts with an individual physician or another group to provide services that the initial group cannot provide itself, any services referred to the contracted physician group/physician should be considered referral services.

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