A primary care doctor’s written permission for a patient to see a certain specialist or to receive certain services. Required by some managed care health plans.

refundable tax credit

A way of providing a tax subsidy to an individual or business, even if no taxes are owed. (See tax credit.) If a person owes no tax, the government sends the person (or a third party) a check for the amount of the refundable tax credit.

Regional Extension Center Program

Created under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), RECs offer technical assistance, guidance, and information to support and accelerate health care providers’ efforts to become meaningful users of electronic health...


Also known as risk control insurance, a practice allowing an insurance company to transfer a portion of its risks to another insurer (the reinsurer). This practice does not affect policyholder rights in any way, and the original insurer remains liable to the...

relative value scale

An index that assigns weights to each medical service; the weights represent the relative amount to be paid for each service. To calculate a fee for a particular service, the index for that service is multiplied by a constant dollar amount (known as the conversion...