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Commonly Used Healthcare Acronyms You Should Know

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Every industry comes with its own learning curve. Whether it's learning how to navigate office politics, feeling comfortable in following specific instructions for the preparation of certain menu items, or simply needing to know where important buildings are on the corporate campus, it takes time to fully embrace the daily demands of a nw job. That being said, some industries throw a lot more at you than others, and one such field of work where it's easy to become overwhelmed is the healthcare and medical economics industry.

All of these new phrases and acronyms can certainly make it feel as if you're learning a whole new language, but with the right resources, you'll be able to face the challenge with aplomb. Here are some of the most commonly used healthcare acronyms that you should know if you're going to work in the sector.

ACA: Affordable Care Act

Commonly Used Healthcare Acronyms You Should Know

One of the most common acronyms you'll come across, especially if you work in billing or health insurance, is ACA, which stands for the Affordable Care Act. Also known as Obamacare, this act is a comprehensive medical bill passed into law in 2010 with the express goal of making healthcare more affordable and accessible. It also incorporated medical cost improvement plans.

ALOS: Average Length of Stay

The average length of stay in a hospital refers to how long, on average, patients must be in the hospital in order to receive full, proper treatment. Generally, the national average is about 4.5 days, which means that if your ALOS is longer than 4.5, you're less efficient, and if it's shorter than 4.5, you're more efficient.

CHIP: Children's Health Insurance Program

Administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, CHIP offers low-cost health insurance to the children of families who don't fit the criteria to qualify for Medicaid. CHIP can help families cover immunizations and annual check-ups, as well as some emergency and laboratory services.

COI: Certificate of Insurance

Commonly Used Healthcare Acronyms You Should Know

A COI, or certificate of insurance, is useful in proving that you have insurance and are thus able to receive treatment at an insured rate. A COI will also offer you a summary of your benefits so that you know exactly what's covered.

FMLA: Family and Medical Leave Act

The Family and Medical Leave Act was passed to provide eligible employees with the ability to take a leave of absence from work in order to address family or medical issues without any repercussions. While FMLA leave is unpaid, it does protect the person who takes it from losing their job and can be used for up to twelve weeks.

HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Commonly Used Healthcare Acronyms You Should Know 3

HIPAA is an important national law that was passed in 1996 and governed how sensitive data about patients is protected. In essence, you as a patient must provide consent if any of your medical information is going to be disclosed to another party, helping you protect your privacy. While this won't impact your premium, it can help you find more reputable clinicians.

Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive, and different departments or job titles will likely require a different set of knowledge in their specific field. Even so, the above list is a helpful jumping-off point if you're new to healthcare acronyms, and you can always dig deeper on websites like which specializes in expert services and the warehousing of data for a variety of health maintenance organizations and insurers. By finding unique analytical tools and making sure to spend some time studying, you're bound to be using all sorts of healthcare acronyms like a pro in no time at all.

Content provided by Scholarship Media.