Serving Connecticut,
New York and Michigan
Home Care / Senior Glossary

Below is a list of glossary items you may find useful.

A  B  C  D  E  H  I  L  M  N  O  P  R  S  T  W 


Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
Activities that are necessary for basic self-care, such as hygiene, dressing, feeding, sleeping and social functioning.

Advance Directives
Legally executed documents drawn up while the individual is still competent, to be used only if that individual becomes incapacitated or incompetent.


Recipient of medical benefits.

BiPAP Extends Apnea Therapy (BEAT)
Advanced Home Care respiratory program in which patients who do not tolerate CPAP machines are progressed to a BiPAP machine.


Care Plan
A logical set of activities, steps, assessments and expected outcomes designed to guide clinicians in making decisions about activities to perform during each visit.

Unpaid relatives or friends who support and care for individuals with illnesses or disabilities.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
Federal bureau governing Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA)
Also referred to as a stroke. The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen when blood flow to the brain is impaired by blockage or rupture of an artery to the brain.

Certificate of Medical Necessity (CMN)
Documentation required by certain payers, such as Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, to maintain compliance and prove medical necessity of equipment and services.

Chronic Disease
An illness marked by long duration or frequent recurrence.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Refers to chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a pair of two commonly co-existing diseases of the lungs in which the airways become narrowed. This leads to a limitation of air to and from the lungs.

Information submitted by a healthcare provider or insurance beneficiary, to a payer of medical benefits (e.g. insurance company, Medicare), to establish that medical services or equipment were provided, thus justifying payment to the healthcare provider or beneficiary.

Client Assistance Program (CAP)
Program designed to assist people with disabilities who have questions or a problem with Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS).

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
A condition in which the heartís function as a pump to deliver oxygen-rich blood is inadequate to meet the bodyís needs.

Continuous Passive Motion (CPM)
A treatment method designed to aid in the recovery of joints immediately after trauma or surgery. CPM is carried out by a CPM device, which constantly moves the joint through a controlled range of motion.


Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)
An order dictating that an individual does not desire resuscitative measures in the case of failed breathing or cardiac arrest.


Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI)
Any information that can be used to identify a patient, such as name, date of birth (DOB), social security number, policy number, address, phone number, etc. that is stored electronically.

Explanation of Benefits (EOB)
Document provided by insurance payers listing charges presented to them by a healthcare provider of services; this document includes the amount paid and/or the amount declined with a reason for the denial.


Home Care Liaison (HCL)
An employee of Advanced Home Care who has responsibilities related to customer service, equipment and service deliveries in hospitals/physician offices. A majority of the work activities involve equipment deliveries in the hospital setting.

Home Care Specialist (HCS)
An employee of Advanced Home Care who is responsible for ensuring continuity between the hospital and the home setting in order to maximize patient satisfaction of home health services, and to optimize patient safety, comfort, and well-being.

Home Health Agency
A facility or program licensed according to state and federal laws to provide healthcare services in the home.

Home Health Aide (HHA)
Individuals who assist patientsí families in caregiving.

Home Medical Equipment (HME)
Medical equipment provided to patients for home/self care or treatment.

Also referred to as high blood pressure. A medical condition in which the blood pressure is chronically elevated.


Interim Order
An order received for a patient after the initial start of care orders.

Intravenous Therapy (IV)
The giving of liquid substances directly into a vein. It can be intermittent or continuous.


Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Individuals who can perform simple as well as complex medical procedures, but must operate under the supervision of either a Registered Nurse (RN) or a physician, depending on state laws.

Long Term Care Facility
A facility that cares for people with chronic conditions and/or those unable to be left alone.

Low Air Loss Mattress
Air pressure mattress designed to treat patients who suffer from serious disruption of the skin and soft body tissue, or pressure ulcers. The mattress allows small amounts of air to leak out of its surface. This helps to keep patientís skin dry and cool.


Medical Social Worker (MSW)
Individuals who assess patients in order to determine any physical, mental or emotional needs. MSWs assess the family support system and link the patient with services to help with care, if needed.


Device used to administer medication to patients in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs. Nebulizers are commonly used in treating cystic fibrosis, asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Nurse Practitioner
A Registered Nurse (RN) with at least a masterís degree in nursing and advanced education in the primary care of particular groups of clients, capable of independent practice in a variety of settings.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)
A sleep disorder that is caused by recurring interruption of breathing during sleep due to obstruction of the airway.

Occupational Therapy (OT)
Therapy based on engagement in meaningful activities of daily life (as self-care skills, education, work, or social interaction) especially to enable or encourage participation in such activities despite impairments or limitations in physical or mental functioning.

Out of Pocket
Portion of health services or health costs that must be paid for by the plan member, including deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.


Palliative Care
Services designed to provide relief of symptoms that interfere with quality of life when treatments will not alter the course of the illness. Hospices dispense palliative care.

Patient Account Representative (PAR)
An employee of Advanced Home Care who is responsible for providing support to all customers.

Patient Service Technician (PST)
An employee of Advanced Home Care who is responsible for the delivery and set-up of Home Medical Equipment (HME) and respiratory therapy equipment.

An entity or organization, like an insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid, which pays for healthcare expenses.

Physicianís Assistant (PA)
Advanced practice clinicians licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician.

Plan of Treatment
Written document that outlines the progression of therapy for a patient.

Positive Airway Pressure (PAP)
Increased air pressure in the breathing pathways, used to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

Programs for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE)
A federal program offering elderly clients a range of healthcare services, transportation, food and social activities, as well as physical, recreational and occupational therapy.

Protected Health Information (PHI)
Any information that can be used to identify a patient, such as name, date of birth (DOB), social security number, policy number, address, phone number, etc. that is stored electronically.

An entity, organization or individual which provides healthcare services, such as a physician, a hospital or a home health care company.


Registered Nurse (RN)
Health care professionals who are responsible for implementing the practice of nursing in concert with other health care professionals. RNs assess, plan, implement and evaluate nursing care of the sick and injured.

Respiratory Therapist (RT)
Individuals who evaluate, treat and care for patients with breathing or other cardio pulmonary disorders; also referred to as respiratory care practitioners.


Skilled Nursing Facility
A facility that accepts patients in need of rehabilitation and medical care that is of a lesser intensity than that received in a hospital setting.

Speech Therapy (ST)
Therapeutic treatments to improve the speech of children who have difficulty in learning to speak, for example because of partial deafness or brain damage, or to help restore the power of speech to adults who have lost it or partly lost it through accident or illness.


Total Hip Replacement (THR)
Surgical procedure to replace a hip joint with an artificial joint.

Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
Surgical procedure to replace a knee joint with an artificial joint.

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)
The practice of feeding a person intravenously, bypassing the usual process of eating and digestion. The person receives nutritional formulas containing salts, glucose, amino acids, lipids and added vitamins.


Written Confirmation of a Verbal Order (WCVO)
A complete physician order for Home Medical Equipment (HME) signed by the ordering physician after providing a verbal order for equipment or services.

Back To Top

Watch Our Video
Choose Home Care Video 1a on Vimeo
Download Our Brochure