Healthcare Glossary

Acute Care
Acute Care is short-term medical treatment, most often in a hospital, for people who have a severe illness or injury, or are recovering from surgery.

AHRQ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is the nations lead federal agency for research on healthcare quality costs.

AHP Allied Health Professional
AHPs are individuals trained to support, complement, or supplement the professional functions of physicians, dentists and other health professionals in the delivery of health care to patients. They include physician assistants, dental hygienists, medical technicians, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, psychologists and nurse anesthetists.

Ambulatory
Able to get from one place to another independently (even if using assistive devices such as manual wheelchairs, canes or walkers).

Ambulatory Care
Health services provided without the patient being admitted. Also called outpatient care. The services of ambulatory care centers, hospital outpatient departments, physicians offices and home health care services fall under this heading provided that the patient remains at the facility less than 24 hours. No overnight stay in a hospital is required.

AQA Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance
The Ambulatory Care Quality Alliance (AQA) is a broad based coalition of physicians, consumers, purchasers, health insurance plans and others who seek to improve health care quality and patient safety through a collaborative process in which key stakeholders agree on a strategy for measuring performance at the physician or group level; collecting and aggregating data in the least burdensome way; and reporting meaningful information to consumers, physicians and other stakeholders to inform choices and improve outcomes.

APC Ambulatory Payment Classification
This is the method used by CMS to implement prospective payment for ambulatory procedures. APC clusters many different ambulatory procedures into groups for purposes of payment.

ASC Ambulatory Surgery Center
Surgery performed on an outpatient basis, either hospital-based or performed in an office or surgi-center.

ALF Assisted Living Facility
Home like residential option that provides personal care and scheduled nursing care as needed.

ARRA
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

BPOC Barcode Point-of-Care
Barcode point-of-care medication administration/management system for prevention of inpatient medication errors.

BMV Bedside Medication Verification
Bedside Verification allows caregivers to utilize barcode-scanning technology prior to administering medications, to confirm patient identity and medication information against data readily available via MEDITECHs online Medication Administration Record.

CMS Centers for Medicare Verification
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a Federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Programs for which CMS is responsible include Medicare, Medicaid, State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), HIPAA and CLIA. Formerly was HCFA. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has historically maintained the UB-92 institutional EMC format specifications, the professional EMC NSF specifications, and specifications for various certifications and authorizations used by the Medicare and Medicaid programs. CMS is responsible for oversight of HIPAA administrative simplification transaction and code sets, health identifiers and security standards. CMS also maintains the HCPCS medical code set and the Medicare Remittance Advice Remark Codes administrative code set.

Collective Bargaining
Collective bargaining refers to bargaining by union members, which is authorized by the NLRA, or non-unionized physicians attempts to obtain the right to bargain collectively.

CPOE Computerized Physician Order Entry
Computer physician order entry (CPOE) is an electronic prescribing system. With CPOE, physicians enter orders into a computer rather than on paper. Orders are integrated with patient information, including laboratory and prescription data. The order is then automatically checked for potential errors or problems.

COW Computers on Wheels also referred to as WOW
Mobile carts that give nurses easy access to information systems, diagnostic equipment, barcode readers and more.

CCN Community Care Network
This vehicle provides coordinated, organized and comprehensive care to a communitys population. Hospitals, primary care physicians and specialists link preventive and treatment services through contractual and financial arrangements, producing a network that provides coordinated care with continuous monitoring of quality and accountability to the public. While the term Community Care Network (CCN) is often used interchangeably with Integrated Delivery System (IDS), the CCN tends to be community based and non

CHC Community Health Center
An ambulatory healthcare program (defined under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act) usually serving a catchment area that has scarce or nonexistent health services or a population with special health needs; sometimes known as the neighborhood health center.

CHIN Community Health Information Network
An integrated collection of computer and telecommunication capabilities that permit multiple providers, payers, employers and related healthcare entities within a geographic area to share and communicate client, clinical and payment information. Also know as community health management information system.

DME Durable Medical Equipment
Devices that are very resistant to wear and may be used over a long period of time. DME includes items such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, artificial limbs, etc.

EDI Electronic Data Interchange
The automated exchange of data and documents in a standardized format. In healthcare, some common uses of this technology include a claims submission and payment, eligibility and referral authorization. Refers to the exchange of routine business transactions from one computer to another in a standard format, using standard communications protocols.

EMR or EHR Electronic Medical Record or Electronic Health Record
A computer-based record containing healthcare information. This technology, when fully developed, meets provider needs for real-time data access and evaluation in medical care. Together with clinical workstations and clinical data repository technologies, the EMR provides the mechanism for longitudinal data storage and access. A motivation for healthcare entities to implement this technology derives from the need for medical outcome studies, more efficient care, speedier communication among providers and management of health plans. This record may contain some, but not necessarily all, of the information that is in an individual paper-based medical record.

GPO Group Purchasing Organization
A shared service that combines the purchasing power of individual organizations or facilities in order to obtain lower prices for equipment and supplies.

HIMSS Health Information and Management Systems Society
HIMSS is a healthcare industry membership organization focused on the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems. HIMSS represents more than 23,000 individual members and over 380 corporate members that collectively represent organizations employing millions of people. HIMSS operates through advocacy and educational and professional development initiatives designed to promote information and management systems contributions to ensuring quality patient care HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The HIPAA law is multi-step approach that is geared to improve the health insurance system. One approach of the HIPAA regulations is to protect privacy. This is in Title IV which defines rules of protection of patient information. All healthcare providers, health organizations and government health plans that use, store, maintain or transmit patient health care information are required to comply with the privacy regulations of the HIPAA law. Excluded are certain small, self-administered health organizations.

IPA Independent Practice Association
IPAs are networks of independent physicians that contract with MCOs and employers. IPAs may be organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships or professional corporations.

Intensive Care Management
Intensive community services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness that are designed to improve planning for their service needs. Services include outreach, evaluation and support.

IPPS Inpatient Prospective Payment System
Medicares payment system for inpatient hospitals and facilities. The specific amount that is paid is based on the DRG for the hospital admission.

MCO Managed Care Organization
MCOs integrate, to varying degrees, the financing and delivery of health care services.

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA, county health departments and regulatory bodies oversee occupational health hazards in workplaces, including hospitals Occupational health programs include the employer activities undertaken to protect and promote the health and safety of employees in the workplace, including minimizing exposure to hazardous substances, evaluating work practices and environments to reduce injury, and reducing or eliminating other health threats. Many health providers offer occupational health consultations as well as occupational health screenings, treatments and case

Patient Flow Data
Patient flow data identifies the zip code of each patient discharged from a hospital.

P4P Payment for Performance
Payment for Performance pays providers based on their success in meeting specific performance measures.

PBM Pharmacy Benefit Manager
A company under contract with managed care organizations, self-insured companies and government programs to manage pharmacy network management, drug utilization review, outcomes management and disease management.

PHO Physician-Hospital Organization
A PHO is a joint venture between a hospital and some or all of the physicians who have admitting priviledges at the hospital.

SSH Single Specialty Hospital
Specialized hospitals that provide treatment relating to a single specialty (e.g., cardiac or orthopedic services). Many of the physicians who refer patients to an SSH have an ownership interest in the facility.

Telemedicine
Telemedicine involves the use of electronic communication and information technologies to provide or support clinical care at a distance.

TPA Third-Party Administrator
A firm that performs administrative functions (e.g., claims processing, membership) for a self-funded plan or a start-up MCO.

WOW Workstations on Wheels also referred to as COW
Mobile carts that give nurses easy access to information systems, diagnostic equipment, barcode readers and more.