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Medical Billing and Coding Terminology You Should Know: H-L

February 26, 2015

Medical Billing Terminology 
Our series of relevant medical terms continues with common words or phrases that begin with the letters H through L. This list of medical billing and coding terminology you should know from (H-L) contains a number of acronyms that are widely used in the industry as well. So get ready and pay attention. You will be fully versed soon the appropriate jargon soon.


Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) –

Set of procedural codes used for reporting services to Medicare, Medicaid and certain third-party providers.

Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) –

Now known as the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).

Health Care Insurance –

Insurance that covers the cost of medical care that’s necessary to treat an illness or injury.

Health Care Provider –

An entity that provides medical services. Examples are physicians, hospitals, and medical laboratories.

Health Insurance Claim (HIC) –

A number the Social Security Administration (SSA) assigns to a Medicare beneficiary to identify him or her. This number is used when processing claims.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 

Federal law that governs the privacy and security of health care records.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) –

A specific type of health insurance plan that places certain restrictions on the amount and type of treatment a member may receive.

Health Savings Account –

A tax-exempt savings account created by one’s employer that is used for the purpose of paying health-related expenses. Individuals may currently put up to $2,500 per year in a health savings account, which is sometimes referred to as a flexible spending account.

ICD-9-CM Code –

ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases. The ICD-9 code is used to classify patient diseases, and is a three to five-digit number.

ICD-10-CM Code –

The most recent revision of the International Classification of Diseases diagnosis system. These are between three and seven digits to allow for even more codes. As such, ICD-10 codes are able to account for many newly-discovered diseases.

Incremental Nursing Charge –

A charge for nursing services inside a hospital, which are separate from the charges incurred for basic room and board.

Indemnity Health Plan –

A health insurance plan that allows patients to use any provider or hospital they choose. This is sometimes referred to as fee-for-service.

Individual Practice Association (IPA) –

Refers to an organization of physicians that have contracted with a particular HMO plan.

In-Network –

A provider who has contracted with an insurance company to provide a discounted rate for procedures.

Inpatient –

Refers to hospitals stays greater than 24 hours in duration.

Letter of Protection (LOP) –

A letter sent by an attorney on behalf of a patient who has a pending lawsuit. This letter is used to obtain medical care that a patient cannot afford in exchange for an agreement to pay for it out of a settlement or judgment.


Keep this list of terms handy in the event you come across one of them and need a quick reference. To learn more about medical billing and coding procedures, and how outsourcing them can save your practice time and money, please contact us at any time.



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