Glossary of Medical, Governmental, and Disability Terms

504 Plan – A plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment. While a 504 plan is offered in primary and secondary grades, section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act still protects students for accommodations into college. They won’t have a plan but the law still applies.

Ableism – Ableism is discrimination based on a person’s disability.  It is the belief that someone with a disability is somehow not as important or does not deserve the same opportunities as those without disabilities.  Often it is expressed as pity towards individuals with disabilities instead of understanding and inclusion.

ACEs – Adverse Childhood Experiences are traumatic events that occur in childhood and often affect later health. These are events that can fundamentally change the way in which a developing brain works, causing long term damage if not addressed.

ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act. Signed into law in 1990, it prohibits discrimination based on disability.

ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder encompasses several developmental disabilities, including Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Rather than differentiate these disorders, some doctors now view them as different varieties of the same disorder.

Behavioral Health – Behavioral health describes the connection between the health and well-being of the body and the mind. This can include eating habits, drinking habits, exercise, and various mental health challenges. Behavioral health can extend to psychiatric conditions, family counseling, and addiction treatments.

Best Practice – A method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things.

CANS – Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths. The CANS is a clinical assessment tool that communicates the needs and strengths of the child and the family and is used to inform the child’s and family’s case. They are used for youth behavioral health treatment plans.

CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which is aimed at changing behavior through self-awareness. Considered a “solutions-oriented” form of talk therapy, CBT rests on the idea that thoughts and perceptions influence behavior.

CLIP – Children’s Long-term Inpatient Program, an intensive program for youth with extreme behavioral disorders. Treatments in these facilities often take several months and are considered a last resort.

Co-payment – A co-payment is the amount of money an individual needs to pay for a medical visit or procedure when they have medical insurance. An example of this would be a $25 fee for a routine doctor visit.

DCYF – Department of Children, Youth and Families. Within Washington State, they are responsible for Child Protective Services, adoption and foster matters, early learning, and developmental support programs.

Deductible – A medical insurance deductible is the amount of money that an individual must pay for a medical expense (including medical procedures) before their insurance “kicks in” and pays for the rest. For instance, an insurer may not pay for a medical procedure that costs less than $500, while they will pay any expenses beyond the $500 that an individual is required to pay for a procedure.

Developmental Disability – Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. About one in six children in the U.S. have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays.

DSHS – Department of Social and Health Services. Within the state of Washington, they are responsible for several services, including child support, housing assistance, vocational rehabilitation, food stamps, and some disability support services.

EBP – Short for Evidence Based Practice. These are scientifically proven practices and are the basis of most physical and psychological health care.

Epigenetics – An emerging scientific study focusing on the changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

Family Initiated Treatment (FIT) -Under FIT parents of youth under 18 are able to consent on behalf of adolescents who meet medical necessity for behavioral health treatment.

Fee for Service (FFS) – The traditional healthcare payment model where services paid for separately. Payment is dependent on the quantity of care, rather than quality of care.

HCA – Health Care Authority is the purchaser for Apple Health in Washington State. HCA also purchases health care for the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program, the School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program, and the COFA Islander Health Care Program.

HMO – Health Maintenance Organization, which are the most common form of MCOs. HMOs are large health care companies. They comprise of many hospitals and providers with a central financial system. Enrollees in an HMO are required to use specific, in-network plan providers or hospitals.

IDEA – The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

IEP – An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child’s individual needs. Every child who receives special education services must have an IEP.

IFSP – An Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a plan for children ages birth to three with developmental delays, or children who have been diagnosed with a physical or mental condition that will likely result in a developmental delay, who need early intervention services. An IFSP includes education, health, and social services supports for the child and family.

Intellectual Disability – An intellectual disability involves problems with general mental abilities that affect functioning in two areas: intellectual functioning (such as learning, problem solving, judgement) and/or adaptive functioning (activities of daily life such as communication and independent living).

LOC – Level of Care. The intensity of effort required to diagnose, treat, preserve or maintain an individual’s physical or emotional status.

MCO – Managed Care Organization. They are a health care system that pays for medical care and treatment that does not necessarily control the medical care or treatment provider. HMOs and PPOs are forms of MCOs, and they are sometimes wrongly used interchangeably.

Medicaid – State funded medical care, referred to in the state of Washington as Apple Health. Families and individuals are eligible for health benefits if they meet income guidelines and are not eligible for Medicare. Medicaid in Washington is free or low cost for those who are eligible and are managed by five separate HMOs – Amerigroup, Community Health Plan, Coordinated Care, Molina Healthcare, and United Healthcare.

Medicare – Federal health insurance program that provides health benefits to Americans age 65 and older and to individuals with qualifying disabilities. Medicare is not dependent on income.

Medicaid Waivers – These are health care programs administered by Medicaid, outside the traditional hospital settings. They are intended to provide local, non-institutional solutions for individuals with disabilities.

NEAR Science – Short for Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACEs and Resilience. NEAR Science is a complementary set of study that opens the door to practical, on the ground, applications and responses to ACEs and Toxic Stress.

Neurological Impairment or Disorder – In this, the capacity of the nervous system is limited or impaired with difficulties exhibited in one or more of the following areas: the use of memory, the control and use of cognitive functioning, sensory and motor skills, speech, language, organizational skills, information processing, affect, social skills, or basic life functions. The term includes students who have received a traumatic brain injury.

P2P – Parent to Parent support centers for parents with children who have developmental disabilities. There are national, statewide, and county based P2Ps.

PPO – Stands for Preferred Provider Organization, a type of MCO, similar to HMO, but they allow individuals to go to whatever doctor they like, not just ones that are “in-network.” Because of this, they tend to be more expensive than HMOs.

Premium – Premiums in insurance are the amount that a MCO, PPO, or other kind of health insurance is paid every month to maintain medical insurance. This can be paid by the individual or an employer, if an individual has health insurance through work. If an individual is on Medicaid or Medicare, there may not be a premium.

Protective Factors – Conditions or attributes in individuals, families, communities, or the larger society that mitigate or eliminate risk in families and communities, thereby increasing the health and well-being of children and families. Protective factors help parents to find resources, supports, or coping strategies that allow them to parent effectively, even under stress

Provider – A provider is a health care professional or practice that provides medical care. This includes doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, dentists, and specialists.

Psychosis – True psychosis refers to changes in the brain that interfere with a person’s experience of his or her world. The experience of psychosis varies greatly from person to person. Psychotic disorders rarely emerge suddenly. Most often, the symptoms evolve and become gradually worse over a period of months or even years.

Remote Patient Monitoring – Remote patient monitoring (RPM) uses digital technologies to collect medical and other forms of health data from individuals in one location and electronically transmit that information securely to health care providers in a different location for assessment and recommendations. This type of service allows a provider to continue to track healthcare data for a patient once released to home or a care facility, reducing readmission rates.

SOC – Systems of Care is community-driven whole-person care. Systems of care is a service delivery approach that builds partnerships to create a broad, integrated process for meeting families’ multiple needs.

SUD – Substance Use Disorder. This is the clinical name for an addiction to a substance that impairs an individual’s life. It was formally refereed to as substance abuse or addition.

Telehealth – Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely and manage your health care. These may be technologies you use from home or that your doctor uses to improve or support health care services.

Telemedicine – Telemedicine involves the use of electronic communications and software to provide clinical services to patients without an in-person visit. The crucial difference between it and telehealth is the use of specialized medical equipment that can relay medical information to the healthcare provider.

Title V – The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program, often referred to as Title Five, are grants to provide health care and public health services for an estimated 55 million people (including pregnant women, infants, children, and children with special needs), and their families in the United States. Many programs that aid infants and children with complex health care needs are a result of the Title V program.

Triage – The process of sorting people based on their need for immediate medical treatment as compared to their chance of benefiting from such care.

Vocational Rehabilitation – Provides counseling to help find work, along with employment services and supports to people with disabilities who want to work, but may have faced substantial barriers in finding meaningful and sustained employment.

WISe – Wraparound with Intensive Services. A Washington State intensive outpatient services program for youth, created after