Glossary of Health Care and Medical Terms

In many cases,
You can click on the healthcare related term below to get a more in-depth description of that glossary term. On the extended definition page, you will be shown the longer description, plus a list of articles related to that term or topic.


See Critical Access Hospital
Also see: Critical Access Hospital

Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators®, LLC (Cahaba GBA) administers Medicare health insurance for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They are J10 A/B Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for the states of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee and one of the Part B Carriers for Mississippi.

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society Angina Classification scale ranks angina into five classes. From Class 0 which is Asymptomatic to Class 4, the most severe, which designates Angina at any level of physical exertion


The College of American Pathologists (CAP) created SNOMED CT

Capitation is a health care reimbursement model in which the provider is paid a fixed amount per person regardless of the number or type of services the person requires. Capitation motivates doctors to keep patients healthy. But it also incents health care providers to limit patient access to treatment and testing.

Cardiovascular Disease or Heart and Blood Vessel Disease is often referred to as heart disease.
Also see: Heart Disease

The Continuity Assessment Record and Evaluation (CARE) tool, will measure the health and functional status of Medicare acute discharges and measure changes in severity and other outcomes for Medicare PAC patients

Community-Based Organization


Chief Complaint (CC)


CCD stands for Common Client Directory or Continuity of Care Document
Also see: CCR, COC, Continuity of Care

A MLHIM  CCD is a Concept Constraint Definition.  It is an XML schema.
Also see: MLHIM

Certification Commission for Health Information Technology - private, non-profit organization established to develop an efficient, credible, and sustainable mechanism for certifying health care information technology products. CCHIT was formed by three bodies representing some of the key HIT professional and industry groups.AHIMA represented health information management professionals, HIMSS represented health IT professionals, and NAHIT, the National Alliance for Health Information Technology, represented a variety of vendor and industry stakeholders


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Certification Number


Continuity of Care Record (CCR) - A standard specification being developed jointly by ASTM International (an SDO), the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). It is intended to foster and improve continuity of patient care, to reduce medical errors, and to assure at least a minimum standard of health information transportability when a patient is referred or transferred to, or is otherwise seen by, another provider
Also see: CCD, COC, Continuity of Care

Clinical Document Architecture

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Also see: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium

Care delivery organization

Clinical Data Repository

See Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)
Also see: Center for Devices and Radiological Health


Clinical Decision Support (CDS) is the intent of modern electronic health records (EHR) systems. See CDSS.
Also see: Clinical Decision Support

Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS): Stores patient and disease specific protocols and drug interactions. Provides alerts and reminders at the point of care
Also see: CDS


Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature.


Consumer Empowerment

The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) is a part of the FDA that was formed in the 1970
Also see: CDRH

Also see: CDC

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Also see: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Also known as: Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services

see CMS
Also see: CMS , Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services

Central nervous system (CNS) is that part of the nervous system that consists of the brain and spinal cord.
Also see: CNS

Certificate of Coverage (COC) is a description of the benefits included in a carrier's plan. The certificate of coverage is required by state laws and represents the coverage provided under the contract issued to the employer.
Also see: COC


Certified Electronic Health Record Software or System is one that has been tested and certified under the Temporary Certification Program maintained by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). The Certified HIT Product List (CHPL) includes the specific product version that has actually been certified. For the ONC certified product list, visit
Also see: Electronic Health Record System, Electronic Health Record Software, EHR Software

see Certified Electronic Health Record Software
Also see: Electronic Health Record System

Code of Federal Regulations


CHC stands for multiple things:

  • Community Health Centers

  • Connected Healthcare Community (CHC)

  • Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC)


Congestive Heart Failure

Consolidated Health Informatics Initiative - Initiative to establish federal health information interoperability standards as the basis for electronic health data transfer in all activities and projects and among all agencies and departments (ONCHIT Initiative)

College of Healthcare Information Management Executives

Certified Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) - A federal program jointly funded by states and the federal government, which provides medical insurance coverage for children not covered by state Medicaid-funded programs

Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009
Also see: CHIP

Certified Health IT Product List

Certified in Healthcare Privacy and Security (CHPS)

Community Health Records

Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Security Officer

Civil Money Penalty (CMP)
Also see: CMP

Claims adjudication in health insurance refers to the determination of the insurer's payment or financial responsibility, after the member's insurance benefits are applied to a medical claim. Also referred to as medical billing advocacy

Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments

See CDS.
Also see: CDS

Clinical Informatics is an application area of Biomedical Informatics which addresses the patient care domain.Clinical informatics is often further broken down into specific fields or subareas such as health informatics, medical informatics, nursing informatics, dentistry informatics, and pharmacy informatics. When the applications of informatics technologies focus on patients or healthy individuals as the primary users, this is considered to be consumer health informatics.

Clinical Science is the practical study of medical principles or investigations using controlled procedures to evaluate results.

Clinical trials are scientific studies that determine if a possible new medical advance can help people and whether it has harmful side effects. They are biomedical or health-related research studies of human beings that follow a pre-defined protocol. Clinical trials are conducted to allow safety (or more specifically, information about adverse drug reactions and adverse effects of other treatments) and efficacy data to be collected for health interventions (e.g., drugs, diagnostics, devices, therapy protocols).

Continuing Medical Education

Chief Medical Information/Informatics Officer


There is a Civil Money Penalty (CMP) for HIPAA privacy rule violations. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health / HITECH Act increased the CMP dollar amounts. The first HIPAA Civil Money Penalty (CMP) of $4.3 million was imposed in February 2011
Also see: HIPAA

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is a major payer for health care for people over 65,for the poor and the handicapped

Form submitted by hospitals to CMS for reimbursement. Developed by NUBC. Also called UB-04
Also see: UB-04

CMS Health Insurance Claim Form submitted by physicians to CMS for reimbursement.

Controlled Medical Vocabulary


Certified Nurse Midwife


Central Nervous System

Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985, 99


Continuity of Care (COC). Or Certificate of Coverage (COC)
Also see: Continuity of Care, Certificate of Coverage

Cognitive Science is the study of the nature of various mental tasks and the processes that enable them to be performed.

Computer Science is the study of computation and computer technology, hardware, and software.

see NHIN Gateway
Also see: NHIN Gateway

Connecting for Health is a public-private collaboration whose goal is to improve people's health and advance the quality of health care in the United States through innovations in information technology. The world Health Organization (WHO) view of Connecting to Health is that information and communication technologies are key to connecting people, information and research to improve health in countries.

Concept of Operations

Continuity of Care (COC) is the process by which the patient and the physician are cooperatively involved in ongoing health care management toward the goal of high quality, cost-effective medical care.
Also see: COC

The Conversion Factor used to calculate the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. The conversion factor formula includes relative value units (RVU) and Geographic Practice Cost Index (GPCI)

Cost allocation principles: Rules for apportioning among multiple programs costs that benefit more than one program.

COSTAR is an early outpatient electronic health record system developed in 1960. COSTAR stands for Computer Stored Ambulatory Record

Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software system/application. Computer systems that is bought as pre developed software packag. Software that is not custom developed by and for the organization.

CPOE is one of the core meaningful use criteria for qualifying for electronic health record (EHR) incentive money. It stands for Computerized Physician Order Entry or Computerized Provider Order Entry or Computerized Prescriber Order Entry. For most private practice physicians, meeting the CPOE meaningful use criteria is merely the entry of prescription data into the electronic health record (EHR) system.


Computerized / Computer-Based Patient Record. A patient centric health record system concept proposed for by the Institute of Medicine in 1991.


Current Procedure Terminology, code set maintained by the American Medical Association to describe medical, surgical, and diagnostic services. Used by physicians for reimbursement.
Also see: CPT-4

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set is a medical code set maintained by the American Medical Association through the CPT Editorial Panel.
If you are a physician practice or submit claims for outpatient hospital services, you will still use CPT codes to report procedures and E&M after the transition to ICD-10 codes.

Physicians will use ICD-10-CM for diagnosis coding and CPT / HCPCS for procedure coding.
Also see: CPT, CPT-4, HCPCS, ICD-10-PCS

Common Procedure Terminology, Fourth Revision.
Also see: CPT


Clinical Quality Measures (CQM). Eligible Professionals, eligible hospitals and CAHs seeking to demonstrate Meaningful Use are required to submit aggregate CQM numerator, denominator, and exclusion data to CMS or the States

A Critical Access Hospital (CAH) is a rural limited service hospital that has been converted to a special designation as a Critical Access Hospital under the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Grant Program. A Critical Access Hospital is a rural acute care hospital consisting of no more than fifteen (15) acute beds and ten (10) swing beds. The majority of CAHs are in Health Professional Shortage Areas and/or Medically Underserved Areas.
Also see: CAH

Customer Relationship Management

Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) Concept Unique Identifier

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