Allowable Charge

An approved bill from a health care provider to an insurance company.

All-payer System

A type of health care system in which everyone - government, insurance company, or individual - pays the same amount for the same services, also known as Multiple Payer Systems. It should be noted that this does not reflect current U.S. health care policy.

Alternative Birthing Center

Health care provider offering a "non traditional" environment for birthing. These are generally more comfortable/flexible than hospital type environments.

Ambulatory Care

Care provided in a hospital or clinic not requiring more than a 24 hour stay (Also known as outpatient care).

Ambulatory Payment Classification (APC)

A part of the Federal Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which designates a method of paying for Medicare facility outpatient services.

Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs)

Healthcare facilities that provide treatment without admitting the patient into a hospital, also known as same-day surgery centers and outpatient surgery centers.

American Medical Association (AMA)

The United States' largest association of physicians and medical students.

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)

Trade group representing health insurance companies.

Ancillary Care

Health care services that do not fall under a strict definition of medical treatment, but are directly related such as x-rays, physical therapy, nutrition services or lab work.

Anniversary Date

The first day of a new plan year, generally the same date as the plan went into effect the previous year.

Group Purchasing Organization (GPO)

When individual companies or providers join together to secure discounts from vendors.