Glossary

Acronyms
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AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

A professional organization for physicians. The AMA is the secretariat of the NUCC, which has a formal consultative role under HIPAA. The AMA also maintains the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT ....) medical code set.

AMERICAN MEDICAL INFORMATICS ASSOCIATION

A professional organization that promotes the development and use of medical informatics for patient care, teaching, research, and health care administration.

AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS

Standards developed and approved by organizations accredited by ANSI.

AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTE

An organization that accredits various standards-setting committees, and monitors their compliance with the open rule-making process that they must follow to qualify for ANSI accreditation. HIPAA prescribes that the standards mandated under it be developed by ANSI-accredited bodies whenever practical.

AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TESTING AND MATERIALS

A standards group that has published general guidelines for the development of standards, including those for health care identifiers. ASTM Committee E31 on Healthcare Informatics develops standards on information used within healthcare.

AMORTIZATION

Process of the gradual retirement of an outstanding debt by making periodic payments to the trust fund.

ANCILLARY SERVICES

Professional services by a hospital or other inpatient health program. These may include x-ray, drug, laboratory, or other services.

ANEMIA

A condition occurring when the blood is deficient in red blood cells and / or hemoglobin which decrease the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood.

ANESTHESIA

Drugs that a person is given before surgery so he or she will not feel pain. Anesthesia should always be given by a doctor or a specially trained nurse.

ANNUAL ELECTION PERIOD

The Annual Election Period for Medicare beneficiaries is the month of November each year. Enrollment will begin the following January. Starting in 2002, this is the only time in which all Medicare+Choice health plans will be open and accepting new members. (See Election Periods.)