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Health Sciences


Alternative Medicine: Any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as chiropractic, homeopathy, or faith healing) not included in the traditional medical curricula of the United States and Britain.

Asepsis: Free from germs that cause disease.

Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG): Any of the payment categories that are used to classify patients and especially Medicare patients for the purpose of reimbursing hospitals for each case in a given category with a fixed fee regardless of the actual costs incurred.

Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG): An instrument for recording the changes of electrical potential occurring during the heartbeat used especially in diagnosing abnormalities of heart action.

Epidemiology: A branch of medical science that deals with the incidence, distribution, and control of disease in a population.

Explanation of Benefits (EOB): A statement sent from the health insurance company to a member listing services that were billed by healthcare provider, how those charges were processed, and the total amount of patient responsibility for the claim. (

Health Care: The marinating and restoration of health by the treatment and prevention of disease especially by trained and licenses proessionals.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): A type of health insurance plan that usually limits coverage to care from doctors who work for or contract with the HMO. It generally won't cover out-of-network care except in an emergency. An HMO may require you to live or work in its service area to be eligible for coverage. HMOs often provide integrated care and focus on prevention and wellness.

Homeostasis: The maintenance of relatively stable internal physiological conditions (as body temperature or the pH of blood) in higher animals under fluctuating environmental conditions.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996(HIPAA): Legislation mandating specific privacy rules and practices for medical care providers and health insurance companies, designed to streamline the healthcare and insurance industries and to protect the privacy and identity of healthcare consumers. HIPAA also provides additional protections for consumers, designed to help them obtain or retain health insurance coverage in certain circumstances.

Malpractice: A dereliction of professional duty or a failure to exercise an accepted degree of professional skill or learning by a physician rendering professional services which results in injury, loss, or damage.

Medicaid: A health insurance program for low-income families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Some states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all adults below certain income levels. The federal government provides part of the funding Medicaid and sets guidelines for the program, and states administer the program. Medicaid benefits vary somewhat between states and may have a different name in your state.

Medicare: A Federal health insurance program for people who are age 65 or older and certain younger people with disabilities. Its also covers with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD.)

Pathogen: A specific causative agent (as a bacterium or virus) of disease. 

Pathology: The study of the essential nature of diseases and especially of the structural and functional changes produced by them. 

Pharmacotherapy: The treatment of disease and especially mental disorder with drugs.

Phlebotomy: The letting of blood for transfusion, apheresis, diagnostic testing, or experimental procedures and widely used in the past to treat many types of disease but now limited to the treatment of only a few specific conditions. 

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): A type of health plan that contracts with medical providers, such as hospitals and doctors, to create a network of participating providers. You pay less if you use providers that belong to the plan's network. You can use doctors, hospitals, and providers outside of the network for an additional cost.

Registered Nurse (RN): An individual who has graduated forma state-approved school of nursing, passed the NCLEX-RN Examination and is licensed by a state board of nursing to provide patient care.

(Terms and definitions came from Merriam Webster or