Glossary of Healthcare Terms

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Accountable Care Organization (ACO)

Healthcare organizations in which a set of providers, usually physicians and hospitals, are held accountable under a contract with a payor(s) (i.e., Medicare for Federal ACOs and any number of commercial payors for commercial ACOs) for the cost and quality of care delivered to a specific local population.


Accreditation is a process in which private organizations assess participating institutions and programs, and issue accreditation certificates to those that meet their requirements. Ensuring the quality and safety of services is the focus of most accreditation standards; however, many also include documentation and other requirements.

ACO Participant

"An individual or group of ACO provider(s)/supplier(s), that is identified by a Medicare-enrolled TIN, that alone or together with one or more other ACO participants comprise(s) an ACO, and that is included on the list of ACO participants that is required under [42 CFR]

ACO Professional

"An ACO provider/supplier who is either of the following: (1) A physician legally authorized to practice medicine and surgery by the State in which he performs such function or action; (2) A practitioner who is one of the following: (i) A physician assistant (as defined at [42 CFR]

ACO Provider-Supplier

An individual or entity that (1) Is a provider (as defined at 42 CFR)

Activity Ratio

A measure that indicates how efficiently the organization utilizes its resources or assets, including cash, accounts receivable, salaries, inventories, properties, plants, and equipment.

Activity Ratios

Ratios that indicate how efficiently the organization utilizes its resources or assets, including cash, accounts receivable, salaries, inventory, property, plant, and equipment.


It incorporates Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other Eastern traditions in anatomic stimulation of various corporal points. Current Procedural Terminology codes have been assigned to acupunctural procedures (97810-97814).

Acute Care

Provision of diagnostic and therapeutic services for relatively short periods of time due to often unexpected injuries or illnesses.

Ad Valorem Tax

A tax that is generally determined to be a fixed or calculated proportion of the value of the property as assessed or appraised on a regular basis.

Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioners (ADHPs)

ADHPs possess a heightened degree of knowledge of the relationship between oral and systemic health and of preventive medicine, health education, and wellness.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs)

APRNs are Registered Nurses with advanced education and training, which allows them to provide primary care services at a higher level either independently or in conjunction with physicians.

Adverse Drug Effect (ADE)

An injury caused by drugs, typically in the form of an allergic reaction or adverse physiological responses to a certain combination of medications. Preventable ADEs are injuries that are caused by human error.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Disease that impairs retinal function and takes predominantly two forms: "wet" AMD and "dry" AMD.

Alert Fatigue

CPOE error caused by a combination of critical medical alerts and a high volume of marginally medically consequential alerts.
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