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Please note that the definitions included in this Glossary reflect the manner in which these terms are used on Medicare in general.

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From the heart, the aorta travels through the middle of the chest and belly. An aneurysm is an expanded section in the lower portion of a significant blood artery (aorta).
A network of hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers that collaborate to deliver coordinated care. ACOs seek to reduce costs to Medicare while also enhancing the standard of patient care.
Activities that the majority of individuals engage in every day related to personal care. ADLs include things like eating, bathing, dressing, using the restroom, and moving around.
A form of complementary medicine that uses needle pricking to cure a variety of physical, mental, and emotional problems as well as to relieve pain.
An illness or condition that presents suddenly and severely, but which, with the right care, is typically curable. Examples include a shattered bone or pneumonia.
An administrative law judge who hears appeals from Medicare beneficiaries or their providers for appeals of a previous determination of care. The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) is where the ALJ makes decisions in the Medicare appeals procedure.
A notice that health care providers and suppliers may give to a person with Original Medicare when they expect that Medicare won’t pay for their services or items.
Advance care planning involves learning about the types of future decisions that may need to be made, considering them beforehand, and then communicating your preferences to others, including your family and your healthcare providers in the event you are unable to speak for yourself.
The determination of whether or not a Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plan will pay for a specific service.
A legal document that spells out how you want financial and medical decisions made in the event that you are unable to express your preferences. A health care proxy, living will, and health care power of attorney are examples of health care advance directives.


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

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