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Abbreviated Injury Scale

An anatomically-based, consensus-derived global severity scoring system that classifies each injury by region according to its relative importance on a 6-point ordinal scale (1 = minor and 6 = maximal). AIS is the basis for the Injury Severity Score (ISS) calculation of the multiply injured patient (AAAM 2008)


ABC Codes

Codes that consist of five-character, alphabetic strings that identify services, remedies, or supplies. Codes are followed by a two-character code modifier, which identifies the practitioner type who delivered the care (Alternative Link 2009)



Services in medicine that deviate from what is typical in comparison to the national norm



The expulsion or extraction of all (complete) or any part (incomplete) of the placenta or membranes, without an identifiable fetus or with a live-born infant or a stillborn infant weighing less than 500 grams


Absolute frequency

The number of times that a score of value occurs in a data set



1. The process of extracting information from a document to create a brief summary of a patient's illness, treatment, and outcome 2. The process of extracting elements of data from a source document or database and entering them into an automated system


Accept assignment

A term used to refer to a provider's or a supplier's acceptance of the allowed charges (from a fee schedule) as payment in full for services or materials provided


Accession number

A number assigned to each case as it is entered in a cancer registry


Accession registry

A list of cases in a cancer registry in the order in which they were entered


Accountable Care Organization (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 425.204(c)(5) (42 CFR 425.20 2011)


Accounting of disclosures

1. Under HIPAA, a standard that states (1) An individual has a right to receive an accounting of disclosures of protected health information made by a covered entity in the six years prior to the date on which the accounting is requested, except for disclosures. To carry out treatment, payment, and health care operations as provided in 164.506


Accounting rate of return

The projected annual cash inflows, minus any applicable depreciation, divided by the initial investment


Accounts payable (A/P)

Records of the payments owed by an organization to other entities


Accounts receivable (A/R)

1. Records of the payments owed to the organization by outside entities such as third-party payers and patients 2. Department in a healthcare facility that manages the accounts owed to the facility by customers who have received services but whose payment is made at a later date



Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care



An organization that provides quality standards and accreditation programs for home health and other healthcare organizations (ACHC 2013)


Accredited Standards Committee X12 (ASC X12)

A committee accredited by ANSI responsible for the development and maintenance of EDI standards for many industries. The ASC “X12N” is the subcommittee of ASC X12 responsible for the EDI health insurance administrative transactions such as 837 Institutional Health Care Claim and 835 Professional Health Care Claim forms (Accredited Standards Committee 2013)



The process of recording known transactions in the appropriate time period before cash payments/receipts are expected or due


Acid-test ratio

A ratio in which the sum of cash plus short-term investments plus net current receivables is divided by total current liabilities



American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology


Action plan

A set of initiatives that are to be undertaken to achieve a performance improvement goal


Active record

A health record of an individual who is a currently hospitalized inpatient or an outpatient


Activity-based costing (ABC)

An economic model that traces the costs or resources necessary for a product or customer


Activity date or status

The element in the chargemaster that indicates the most recent activity of an item


Actual charge

1. A physician's actual fee for service at the time an insurance claim is submitted to an insurance company, a government payer, or a health maintenance organization; may differ from the allowable charge 2. Amount provider actually bills a patient, which may differ from the allowable charge


Acute-care hospital

Under HITECH specific to the Medicaid program, a health care facility (1) where the average length of patient stay is 25 days or fewer; and (2) with a CMS certification number (previously known as the Medicare provider number) that has the last four digits in the series 0001–0879 or 1300–1399 (42 CFR 495.302 2012)


Acute-care prospective payment system

The Medicare reimbursement methodology system referred to as the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS). Hospital providers subject to the IPPS utilize the Medicare severity diagnosis-related groups (MS-DRGs) classification system, which determines payment rates (CMS 2012)



Americans with Disabilities Act



A late entry added to a health record to provide additional information in conjunction with a previous entry. The late entry should be timely and bear the current date and reason for the additional information being added to the health record


Add-on codes

In CPT coding, add-on codes are referred to as additional or supplemental procedures. Add-on codes are indicated with a “+” symbol and are to be reported in addition to the primary procedure code. Add-on codes are not to be reported as standalone codes and are exempt from use of the –51 modifier (AMA 2013)