Acronyms in healthcare

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The following is a partial list of acronyms commonly used in health care. The terms listed are used within the health care systems of various countries.

A list of medical abbreviations is also available.






  • CAD Coronary Artery Disease
  • CAH Critical Access Hospital
  • CAHPS Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems
  • CAP Community Action Program or Community Access Program
  • CAT Computerized Axial Tomography
  • CBO Congressional Budget Office
  • CCA Cost Consequence Analysis
  • CCHP Consumer Choice Health Plan
  • CCU Coronary Care Unit or Critical Care Unit
  • CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CERTs Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics
  • CEO Campaign to End Obesity
  • CHAMPUS Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services
  • CHC Community Health Center
  • CHMIS Community Health Management Information System
  • CMA Cost Minimization Analysis
  • CME Continuing Medical Education
  • CMHC Community Mental Health Center
  • CMP Competitive Medical Plan
  • CMS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • CNA Certified Nursing Assistant
  • COB Coordination of Benefits
  • COBRA Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • COG Council of Governments
  • COI Cost of Illness Analysis
  • COLA cost of living allowance
  • COMPASS Community Participation for Action in the Social Sector (Nigeria)
  • CON Certificate of Need
  • CONQUEST Computerized Needs-Oriented Quality Measurement Evaluation System
  • COPC Community Oriented Primary Care
  • COPD Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • COTH Council of Teaching Hospitals
  • CPA Certified Public Accountant
  • CPHA Commission on Professional and Hospital Activities
  • CPI Consumer Price Index
  • CPOE Computerized Physician Order Entry or Computerized Prescription Order Entry
  • C-PORT Cardiovascular Patients Outcomes Research Team
  • CPR Customary, Prevailing, and Reasonable or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • CPT-4 Current Procedural Terminology, Forth Edition
  • CQuIPS Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
  • CRVS California Relative Value Studies
  • CT Computerized Tomographic (scanners)


  • DANAMI Danish Multicenter Randomized study on fibrinolytic therapy versus Acute Coronary Angioplasty in Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • DD Developmental Disability
  • DDS Doctor of Dental Surgery
  • DEA Drug Enforcement Agency
  • DDM Doctor of Dental Medicine
  • DHHS Department of Health and Human Services
  • DME Durable Medical Equipment
  • DMO Disease Management Organization
  • DO Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
  • DRG Diagnosis Related Group
  • DSE Dobutamine stress echocardiography
  • DSH Disproportionate Share Hospital
  • DTC Direct to Consumer
  • DUR Drug Utilization Review
  • DVM Doctor of Veterinary Medicine


  • EBM Evidence-Based Medicine
  • ECF extended care facility
  • EDI Electronic Data Interchange
  • EMERALD Enhanced Myocardial Efficacy and Recovery by Aspiration of Liberated Debris
  • EMS Emergency Medical Services
  • EPA Exclusive Provider Arrangement
  • EPA Environmental Protection Agency
  • EPC Evidence-Based Practice Center
  • EPSDT Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program
  • ER Emergency Room
  • ERISA Employee Retirement Income Security Act
  • ESRD End Stage Renal Disease
  • ET Expenditure Target




  • HCBS Home and Community Based Services
  • HCFA Health Care Financing Association (Precursor to CMS)
  • HCUP-QIs Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Quality Indicators
  • HEDIS Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set
  • HIFA Health Insurance Flexibility and Accountability
  • HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • HIPC Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperative
  • HMO Health Maintenance Organization
  • HMSA Health Manpower Shortage Area
  • HPSAs Health Professional Shortage Areas
  • HRQL Health Related Quality of Life
  • HRSA Health Resources and Services Administration
  • HSA Health Systems Agency; Health Savings Account or Health Service Area
  • HTA Health Technology Assessment



  • IADL Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
  • IBNR Incurred But Not Reported
  • IC Intracoronary
  • ICD-9-CM International Classification of Diseases Version 9, Clinical Modifications
  • ICDA International Classification of Diseases, Adopted
  • ICF Intermediate Care Facility
  • ICH Intracranial hemorrhage
  • ICU Intensive Care Unit
  • ICF/MR Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded
  • ICPC International Classification of Primary Care
  • IHI Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • IMG International Medical Graduate
  • IOM Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences
  • IPA Independent Practice Association
  • IPHF International Public Health Forum
  • ISN Integrated Services Network


  • JAMA Journal of the American Medical Association
  • JCAHO Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
  • JIPHF Journal of International Public Health Forum



  • LIS Low Income Subsidy
  • LOS Length of Stay
  • LPN Licensed Practical Nurse
  • LSC Life Safety Code
  • LTC Long Term Care
  • LVEF Left ventricular ejection fraction
  • LVN Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • LVRS Lung Volume Reduction Surgery


  • MA Medicare Advantage
  • MAAC Maximum Allowable Actual Charge
  • MAF Medical Assistance Facility
  • MAP Medical Audit Program
  • MAPD Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan
  • MBG Myocardial blush grade
  • MCE Myocardial contrast echocardiography
  • MCAT Medical College Admission Test
  • MCH Maternal and Child Health Program
  • MCO Managed Care Organization
  • MEDLARS Medical Literature and Analysis Retrieval System
  • MedPAC Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
  • MEPS Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
  • MET Multiple Employer Trust
  • MEWA Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement
  • MDH Medicare-dependent Hospital
  • MMIS Medical Management Information System
  • MMRA Metropolitan Medical Response System
  • MRHFP Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program
  • MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • MSA Medical Savings Account or Metropolitan Statistical Area
  • MUA/MUPs Medically Underserved Areas/Populations


  • NACo National Association of Counties
  • NACCHO National Association of County and City Health Officials
  • NCHS National Center for Health Statistics
  • NASHP National Academy for State Health Policy
  • NASMD National Association of State Medical Directors
  • NCQA National Committee for Quality Assurance
  • NEJM New England Journal of Medicine (standard PubMed abbreviation is N Engl J Med)
  • NGA National Governors Association
  • NGC National Guidelines Clearinghouse
  • NHS National Health Service
  • NHSC National Health Savings Corps
  • NICU Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • NIH National Institutes of Health
  • NIMH National Institute of Mental Health
  • NIOSH National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
  • NLM National Library of Medicine
  • NMA Nigerian Medical Association
  • NMF Nigerian Medical Forum
  • NP Nurse Practitioner
  • NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • NPS National Pharmaceutical Stockpile
  • NRHA National Rural Health Association
  • NRMI National Registry of Myocardial Infarction


  • OAA Old Age Assistance
  • OASDHI Old Age Survivors, Disability, and Health Insurance Program
  • OAT Occluded artery trial
  • OBRA Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
  • ODS Organized Delivery System
  • OMB Office of Management and Budget
  • OPD Outpatient Department
  • OPHP Office of Public Health Preparedness
  • OSHA Occupational Health and Safety Administration


  • PA Physician Assistant
  • PAHO Pan American Health Organization
  • PAMI Primary angioplasty in Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • PASSION Paclitaxel-Eluting Stent versus Conventional Stent in Myocardial Infarction with ST-Segment Elevation
  • PBM Pharmacy Benefits Manager
  • PCCM Primary Care Case Management
  • PCI Percutaneous coronary intervention
  • PCP Primary Care Physician
  • PCT NHS Primary Care Trust
  • PDI Professional Development Institute
  • PDP Prescription Drug Plan
  • PDQS Partnership Defined Quality of Service *
  • PHO Physician-Hospital Organization
  • PHS Public Health Service
  • PIAPHP Partners in Information Access for Public Health Professionals
  • PMPM Per Member Per Month
  • PPA Preferred Provider Arrangement
  • PPCI Primary percutaneous coronary intervention
  • PPO Preferred Provider Organization
  • PPS Prospective Payment System
  • PRAGUE PRimary Angioplasty in patients transferred from General community hospitals to specialized PTCA Units with or without Emergency fibrinolysis
  • PSN Provider Sponsored Network
  • PSO Provider Sponsored Organization
  • PTCA Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty


  • QALY Quality Adjusted Life Year
  • QAPI Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Program
  • QARI Quality Assurance Reform Initiative
  • QIO Quality Improvement Organization
  • QISMC Quality Improvement System for Managed Care
  • QuIC Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force


  • RAN Rural Area Computer Network
  • RAPPORT Reopro And Primary PTCA Organization and Randomized Trial
  • RBRVS Resource-Based Relative Value Scale
  • RCT Randomized Clinical Trial or Randomized Controlled Trial
  • RFE Reason for encounter
  • RHC Rural Health Clinic
  • RIKS-HIA Register of Information and Knowledge about Swedish Heart Intensive care Admissions
  • RRC Rural Referral Centers
  • RUG Resource Utilization Groups
  • RWJF Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


  • SAMSHA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • SCH Sole Community Hospitals
  • SCHIP State Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • SDMC Statistical and Data Management Center
  • SESAMI Sirolimus-Eluting Stent Versus Bare-Metal Stent in Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • SFDA State Food and Drug Administration
  • SHEA State Health Expenditure Account
  • SK Streptokinase
  • SNF Skilled Nursing Facility
  • SSI Supplemental Security Income
  • SSRI Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
  • STRATEGY Single High Dose Bolus Tirofiban and Sirolimus Eluting Stent vs. Abciximab and Bare Metal Stent in Myocardial Infarction study
  • STEMI ST elevation myocardial infarction
  • STOP-AMI Stent versus Fibrinolysis for Occluded coronary arteries in patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction


  • TANF Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
  • TAPAS Thrombus Aspiration in Percutaneous coronary intervention following Acute myocardial infarction Study.
  • TFG TIMI flow grade
  • TIMI Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction
  • TMPG TIMI myocardial perfusion grade
  • TPA Third Party Administrator
  • TPA Tissue plasminogen activator
  • TUBE Totally Unnecessary Breast Examination
  • TVR Target vessel revascularization



  • VIRHN Vertically Integrated Rural Health Network






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