Preferred Provider Organization: An arrangement under which a selected group of independent hospitals and medical practitioners in a certain area, agree to provide services at a prearranged cost (a set fee for each service). The doctor or professional medical service entity is paid for services as they are given to the patient/consumer. The patient can direct refer to specialists. It is important to note that many procedures and tests still need pre-authorization from the insurance company that is sharing expense with the patient. Even though a patient does not need to have a “primary physician”, a relationship with a general practitioner is still recommended. Many specialists see patients only after they have been to a general practitioner.