2020 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan - FEP Blue Focus
Section 10. Definitions of Terms We Use in This Brochure
Page 134
Intensive outpatient care
A comprehensive, structured outpatient treatment program that includes extended periods of individual or group therapy sessions designed to assist members with mental health and/or substance use disorders. It is an intermediate setting between traditional outpatient therapy and partial hospitalization, typically performed in an outpatient facility or outpatient professional office setting. Program sessions may occur more than one day per week. Timeframes and frequency will vary based upon diagnosis and severity of illness.

Local Plan
A Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Plan that serves a specific geographic area.

Medical foods
The term medical food, as defined in Section 5(b) of the Orphan Drug Act (21 U.S.C. 360ee (b) (3)) is “a food which is formulated to be consumed or administered enterally under the supervision of a physician and which is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, are established by medical evaluation.” In general, to be considered a medical food, a product must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria: the product must be a food for oral or tube feeding; the product must be labeled for the dietary management of a specific medical disorder, disease, or condition for which there are distinctive nutritional requirements; and the product must be intended to be used under medical supervision.

Medical necessity
All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations, and exclusions in this brochure and are payable only when we determine that the criteria for medical necessity are met. Medical necessity shall mean healthcare services that a physician, hospital, or other covered professional or facility provider, exercising prudent clinical judgment, would provide to a patient for the purpose of preventing, evaluating, diagnosing, or treating an illness, injury, disease, or its symptoms, and that are:

  1. In accordance with generally accepted standards of medical practice in the United States; and
  2. Clinically appropriate, in terms of type, frequency, extent, site, and duration; and considered effective for the patient’s illness, injury, disease, or its symptoms; and
  3. Not primarily for the convenience of the patient, physician, or other healthcare provider, and not more costly than an alternative service or sequence of services at least as likely to produce equivalent therapeutic or diagnostic results for the diagnosis or treatment of that patient’s illness, injury, or disease, or its symptoms; and
  4. Not part of or associated with scholastic education or vocational training of the patient; and
  5. In the case of inpatient care, able to be provided safely only in the inpatient setting.

For these purposes, “generally accepted standards of medical practice” means standards that are based on credible scientific evidence published in peer-reviewed medical literature generally recognized by the relevant medical community and physician specialty society recommendations.

The fact that one of our covered physicians, hospitals, or other professional or facility providers has prescribed, recommended, or approved a service or supply does not, in itself, make it medically necessary or covered under this Plan.

Minor acute conditions
Under the telehealth benefit, you have on-demand access to care for common, non-emergent conditions. Examples of common conditions include sinus problems, rashes, allergies, cold and flu symptoms, etc.

Never Events
Errors in medical care that are clearly identifiable, preventable, and serious in their consequences, such as surgery performed on a wrong body part, and specific conditions that are acquired during your hospital stay, such as severe bed sores. For more information, see page 8.

Non-Core benefits
Medical services covered under FEP Blue Focus NON-CORE benefits are subject to the deductible and coinsurance. These services include hospitalization, surgery, transplant coverage, etc.

Observation services
Although you may stay overnight in a hospital room and receive meals and other hospital services, some services and overnight stays – including “observation services” – are actually outpatient care. Observation care includes care provided to members who require significant treatment or monitoring before a physician can decide whether to admit them on an inpatient basis, or discharge them to home. The provider may need 6 to 24 hours or more to make that decision.