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Hazard Communication Standard

An OSHA standard intended to increase health care practitioners' awareness of risks, to improve work parctices and appropriate use of personal protective equipment, and to reduce injuries and illnesses in the workplace

Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HCIPDB)

A national health care fraud an abuse data collection program for the reporting and disclosure of certain adverse actions taken against health care providers, suppliers, or practitioners

Health Care Proxy

A durable power of attorney issued for pruposes of health care decisions only

Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986

A federal statute passed to improve the quality of medical care nationwide. One provision established the National Practitioner Data Bank

Health Information Administrator

Manages health information and systems used to collect, store, process, retrieve, analyze, disseminate, and communicate health information

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996

Helps workers keep continuous health insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents when they change jobs, protects confidential medical information from unauthorized disclosure and/or use, and helps curb the rising cost of fraud and abuse

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

A health plan that combines coverage of health care cost and delivery of health care for a prepaid premium


The process by which organisms pass genetic traits on to their offspring

Heterologous Artificial Insemination

Donor sperm is mechanically injected into a woman's vagina to fertilize her eggs

Hippocratic Oath

A pledge for physicians, developed by the Greek physician Hipporcrates circa 400bc

Homologous Artificial Insemination

The husband's sperm is mechanically injected into his wife's vagina to fertilize her eggs


A facility or program (often carried out in a patient's home) in which teams of health care practitioners and volunteers provide a continuing environment that focuses on the emotional and psychological needs of the dying patient

Human Genome Project

A scientific project funded by the US government. It was begun in 1990 for the purpose of mapping all of a human's genes and was successfully completed in 2000

Implied Contract

An unwritten and unspoken agreement whose terms result from the actions of the parties involved

Implied Limited Contract

A contract created when a physician or other health care worker treats a patient in an emergency situation. The agreement does not extend to the relationship after the emergency ends

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Fertilization that takes place outside a woman's body, literally, "in glass," as in a test tube


A lack of physical or intellectual power, or of natural or legal qualifications.


Lacking the qualities or skills neccessary for effective action


A traditional form of health insurance that covers the insured against a potential loss of money from medical expenses for an illness or accident

Individual (or independent) Practice Association (IPA)

A type of HMO that contracts with groups of physicians who practice in their own offices and receive a per-member payment (capitation) from participating HMOs to provide a full range of health services for HMO members

Informed Consent

The patient's right to receive all information relative to his or her condition and then to make a decision regarding treatment based upon that knowledge


A written set of questions requiring written answers from a plaintiff or defendant under oath

Involuntary Euthanasia

The act of ending a terminal patient's life by medical means without his or her permission

Judicial Branch

That branch of government responsible for interpreting laws; the court system and judges

Judicial Council Opinions

A publication of the American Medical Association, issued for the purpose of defining ethics for physicians in all situations common to the practice of medicine


The power and authority given to a court to hear a case and to make a judgment

Just Cause

An employer's legal reason for firing an employee


The study of muscles and muscle movement


Works under a physician's supervision, using therapeutic exercise and education to treat the effects of disease, injury, and congenital disorders on body movement


Rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority

Law of Agency

The law that governs the relationship between a principal and his or her agent

Legal Precedents

Decisions made by judges in the various courts that become rule of law and apply to future cases, even though they were not enacted by legislation

Legislative Branch

The Senate and the House of Representatives, responsible for creating laws

Liability Insurance

Contract coverage for potential damages incurred as a result of a negligent act


Accountable under the law


A mandatory credentialing process established by law, usually at the state level, that grants the right to practice certain skills and endeavors


A charge upon real or personal property for the satisfaction of a debt or duty owed by law

Limited Data Set

Protected health information from which certain specified, direct identifiers of individuals have been removed


Prone to engage in lawsuits

Living Will

An advance directive that specifies an individual's end-of-life wishes

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