Handling Cost

The cost involved in handling inventory. For example, items over a maximum stock level may have to be stored off site at substantial cost.


Health and Beauty Aids. The name of a product code system for health and beauty products. These are equivalent to PIN and UPC codes. See also HRI.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Treatment chamber which produces pressures higher than normal atmospheric pressures.


The company was started in Peoria, IL in 1974 with $14,000 in operating capital. Founders Walter Huff, Bruce Barrington, and Richard Owens used their initials to name the firm (way before the cable network company by a similar name). The company was acquired by McKesson in 1998 and the combined company is now named McKessonHBOCExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions).


Hierarchical Coexisting Condition. A class of more sophisticated DCG models that recognize the cumulative effect of multiple problems.


Alas, HCFA is no more. As of July, 2001, incoming agency Secretary Tommy Thompson changed the name of the Health Care Financing Administration, to “Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.” So HCFA is now CMMS (from an acronym to an abbreviation). Maybe it will be pronounced “C-mems?” or will it be “C-mums?”
In any case, this still is the Federal agency that manages Medicare, Medicaid and Child Health.


HCPCSExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) (HCFA Common Procedural Coding System) is an alphanumeric coding system which contains national codes used in the reporting of drugs, supplies, durable medical equipment, injection and certain other services provided to Medicare patients. HCPCS contains all medical and dental procedure codes used to bill physician and supplier services for Medicare.


Healthcare Prepayment Plan.


High Density Cholesterol, a.k.a. “good” cholesterol. Here’s a good article on it, Lowering Your Cholesterol: Diet or Drugs?External Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) by Ernst John Schaefer, M.D., and Robert M. Russell, M.D. It has a very good Q&A.

Health Information Content

Includes information to help consumers stay well, prevent and manage disease, and make decisions related to health and health care, including information for making decisions about health-related products and health services. It may be in the form of data, text, graphics, audio or video, and may involve special software or hardware and programming enhancements that support interactivity. Health information content includes both materials authored by third parties (whether scholarly works by scientists and clinicians or interpretive articles prepared for consumers), as well as materials created specifically for use on a health web site.
[Source: Hi-Ethics CoalitionExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions)]

Health Maintenance Organization

HMOs are healthcare organizations that are responsible for providing a predetermined set of comprehensive health maintenance and treatment services to a voluntarily enrolled group for a pre-negotiated and fixed period (e.g., monthly) capitation payment.
The most notable advantage for members is that they never have to pay fee-for-service charges. The most notable disadvantage is that members are limited to be treated by providers employed by the HMO. Unless, of course it happens to be an Open-Ended HMO! In general, other plans are less restrictive in this respect (e.g. PPOs) and the Open-Ended HMO is a concession in that direction.
There are many ways an HMO can be organized,
Group Model HMO
Independent Practice Association (IPA)
Network Model
Staff Model HMO
Click hereExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) for a good resource on HMOs.

Health Status

The health status of a patient is arrived at through analysis from examining various risk groups and employing preventive care (via programs or pharmaceuticals).

Healthcare Decision Counseling

Services that help individuals weigh the benefits, risks and costs of medical tests and treatments. Unlike case management, healthcare decision counseling is presumed to be nonjudgmental.

Healthcare Prepayment Plan

Healthcare Prepayment Plans (HCPPs) are paid in a similar manner as cost plans but only cover part of the Medicare benefit package. HCPPs do not cover Medicare Part A services (i.e., inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing, hospice, and some home healthcare) but some do arrange for services and may file Part A claims in behalf of their members.

Health-Related Personal Information

This refers to personal information that is associated with health issues, categories, questions, and facts obtained as a result of the individual's responses and activities on a health web site.
[Source: Hi-Ethics CoalitionExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions)]


Healthcare Electronic Infrastructure CoalitionExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions).


HEDISExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions)© (Healthplan Employer Data and Information Set) was initially developed by a cooperative group of health plans, large employers, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) to help employers better understand what they were getting for their health care dollars. Following its rigorous data collection rules annually gives each participating organization an opportunity to compare its performance to internal and external benchmarks, such as the U.S. Public Health Services’ “Healthy People 2000” goals, and to track its improvement over time.
The program measures, among others, the following indicators,
Childhood Immunization
Breast Cancer Screening (Mammography)
Cervical Cancer Screening
Prenatal Care/First Trimester
Low Birthweight Babies
Overall Member Satisfaction


A lab test that determines the amount of hemoglobin in the blood by counting red cells.


The Healthcare Financial Management Association.External Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions)“is the nation's leading personal membership organization for more than 35,000 financial management professionals employed by hospitals, integrated delivery systems, long-term and ambulatory care facilities, managed care organizations, medical group practices, public accounting and consulting firms, insurance companies, government agencies, and other healthcare organizations.”


Home Health Agencies.


The (US) Department of Health and Human ServicesExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions).


The Health Industry Business Communications CouncilExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) (HIBCC) is a nonprofit standards development organization sponsored by the healthcare industry. Its mission is to facilitate electronic commerce by developing appropriate standards for information exchange among healthcare trading partners.
Its most important role is as a facilitator to the industry as it electronically transforms itself from XVIII century practices to XXI century commerce.


Healthcare Information and Management Systems SocietyExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) (HIMSS), brings together virtually all of the nation’s leading healthcare information and management professionals -- from CEOs and CIOs to clinicians and consultants -- to collaborate, network and learn about current principles, technologies and trends facing healthcare today.


A Healthcare Identification Number (HIN) assigned by HIBCC to a healthcare provider organization. There are two types of numbers assigned, one for “facilities” (i.e., business entity) , the other for “locations.” Each ID consists of the record type (i.e., “BE” for facilities and “LO” for locations), followed by a 7-digit base HIN number, and a 2-digit suffix (i.e., 00 for facilities; the location suffix starts at F0 and continues as necessary).


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 21, 1996. It is intended to,
curtail healthcare fraud and abuse,
enforce health information standards,
guarantee the security and privacy of health information, and
assure health insurance portability for employees
HIPAA Mandates
Transaction and Codeset Standards
Administrative and Financial ANSI X12N


Coordination of Benefits Not released
Claims Attachments Not released
Electronic Signature  
Privacy and Confidentiality Not released
Identification Standards
Provider NPI
Employer EIN
Health Plan  
[Source: Health Management TechnologyExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions), April 1999]


Hospital Information System.


ANSI’s Healthcare Informatics Standards Board.


Health Level 7External Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) (HL7) is a standard for electronic data exchange in healthcare environments. It was established as a healthcare standard in 1987 at a user group conference held at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Participants, representing users as well as vendors agreed that the advent of an industry standard was required to simplify the implementation of interfaces between applications from different, even competing vendors.
The term “Level 7” refers to the highest level of the Open Systems InterconnectExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) (OSI) model of the International Standards OrganizationExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) (ISO). In the OSI conceptual model, the communications functions are separated into seven levels. The seventh level defines the application data to be exchanged, which in the case of HL7 version 2.2 (released 1994) includes the following,
Admissions/Discharge/Transfer (ADT) data
clinical observations
master file update information.
The next version of the standard (2.3) will include coverage for,
patient care
medical records
automated instruments
Work is also underway to produce HL7 standards for recording immunizations and drug reactions.
In addition to the application data itself, HL7 also defines the timing of the exchanges, and the communication of certain application specific errors between cooperating applications.
In June 1994, HL7 became an ANSIExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) standard in the US. HL7-sanctioned national groups also exist in many other countries outside of the United States including Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.


See Health Maintenance Organization. In some circles, it more aptly stands for “Hand the Money Over.”

Home Health

See Home Healthcare.

Home Healthcare

“Home Health,” as it is usually called, refers to the range of health and social services that are provided at home to recovering, disabled, or chronically ill people. It usually involves medical, nursing, social, or therapeutic treatment delivered by professional healthcare providers (singly or as a team); it can even include general, daily living assistance that cannot be provided solely by family or friends.

Horizontal Integration

The degree of integration and coordination of activities across operating units of an IHDN with the same clinical and operational mission (e.g., inpatient acute care, or mental health clinics).


History of Present Illness. See also PFSH, PMH, PSH, ROS, and the University of Florida’s Medical History Taking Study GuideExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions).


Health Professional Shortage Area. A “shortage area,” in this context refers to geographic areas or population groups with a shortage of primary health care services. The HPSA designation criteria includes primary medical care, mental health, and dental care.


Health Related Item. The name of a product code system for health related products. See also HBA, PIN and UPC.


Short-hand for “history” (e.g., medical history, prescription history). See also, Dx, Fx, Mx, Px, Rx, Sx, Tx.