Healthcare Acronyms and What They Mean - Zupnick Associates

by Corinna Underwood )

The language of healthcare is rife with acronyms that can be confusing if you don’t know what they mean. To help you navigate through the complex terms, here is a guide to some of the most commonly used healthcare acronyms.


An Accountable Care Organization is comprised of a group of medical practitioners and hospitals who voluntarily collaborate to provide quality healthcare for Medicare patients. The aim of the ACO is to ensure that all patients get the right care as and when they need it.  


The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 protects people with disabilities from discrimination and ensures that they are granted the same opportunities as everyone else. 

The areas covered by the act include employment, communications, public accommodations, transportation, and access to government services and programs.


A Consumer-Directed Health Plan is one that allows users more control over their health care expenses by combining high deductibles with tax-advantaged personal health spending plans, such as an HSA (Health Savings Account). 

A CDHP provides a set amount at the initiation of the plan that can be used towards out-of-pocket medical costs.


The Children’s Health Insurance Program is administered by states to provide health coverage to eligible children. Coverage is provided through Medicaid and individual CHIP programs. Also, it is funded by state and federal governments.


The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is the world’s largest employer-sponsored health insurance program. It currently provides health coverage for more than 8 million Americans, including federal employees and retirees and their family members. The FEHBP offers several different types of plans allowing enrollees to decide how they want to maintain their healthcare.


The Group Health Association of America is a national organization that represents prepaid individual and group healthcare systems. The GHAA has more than 150 members from various health maintenance organizations (HMOs) organizations. 

As well as performing data collection and analysis, the GHAA also conducts workshops and conferences related to prepaid healthcare systems.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is a federal law that was enacted in 1996. It protects sensitive health information from being shared or disclosed without the knowledge or permission of the patient.


A Health Reimbursement Arrangement is a form of employee benefit. It is a monthly tax-free allowance provided by the employee that can be used to buy healthcare services. It allows employees to pay for medical expenses that are not covered by their insurance plan.


The Maximum Annual Copayment refers to the most a patient is required to pay out-of-pocket for covered services in a single year. Once this amount has been spent on copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance, the health plan covers 100% of the rest of the covered costs.


The National Practitioner Data Bank is a central registry that hospitals throughout the U.S. are required to contact to verify the medical credentials and malpractice history of their prospective licensed practitioners. 

Hospitals are also required to inform the NPDB of any disciplinary measure they take against any members of their medical staff.


A Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement, also known as a small business HRA, is a plan that enables employers to provide a fixed monetary amount each month for employers to use to buy health insurance or pay for medical expenses. A QSEHRA is tax-free.


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a U.S. government agency that is responsible for ensuring safety in the workplace. Also, it helps to prevent injuries, illnesses, and death in the work environment.


The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly is a program that provides healthcare and social services to eligible elderly people, typically those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. 

Services include home care, adult daycare, dentistry, emergency care, physical and recreational therapy.


Small Employer Group Options refer to employer-funded healthcare coverage plans that are suitable for small businesses. This is a single plane issued to the whole group of employees. In some cases, the insurance may also cover their dependents.

There are many more widely used acronyms within the healthcare field, you can find more and their meaning here.

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