Children's Hospital Colorado

Definitions to Help You Understand Billing and Medical Terminology

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At Children's Hospital Colorado, we realize families are not always familiar with the billing and medical terminology we use. Below is a list of commonly used billing terms and their definitions to help guide you through the process.

Common billing terms

  • Billing statement - A summary of patient account activity that is sent to parents or guardians updating them regarding the status of a claim
  • Claim - Information billed to the insurance company for services provided to your child
  • Contractual write-off/adjustment - The difference between the insurance contracted amount and the amount of the charge
  • Co-payment (patient responsibility) - The fee per visit paid by the patient or family for healthcare services as determined by your medical insurance policy
  • Co-insurance (patient responsibility) - The portion (in percent) paid by the patient or family for health-care services as determined by your medical insurance policy
  • Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP) - The Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP) provides funding to clinics and hospitals so that medical services can be provided at a discount to Colorado residents that meet the eligibility requirements for the CICP. However, the CICP is not a health insurance program. Visit the CICP website to learn more.
  • Deductible (patient responsibility) - The amount that the patient or family must pay for healthcare services before the insurance policy begins making payments. The health insurance policy sets this amount; usually it is due every calendar year.
  • Demographics - Patient/guarantor/subscriber legal name, gender, birth date, address, phone number and employer information
  • Explanation of Benefits (EOB) - A detailed explanation of coverage from the insurance company for the medical services provided to your child
  • Financial assistance - Adjustments made for qualified responsible parties, based on financial assistance applications and established financial guidelines
  • Guarantor - The legal guardian of the patient
  • Managed care - A medical delivery system that manages the quality and cost of medical services
  • Medicaid - The joint federal/state program that provides health care insurance to low-income families
  • Referring physician - The physician who referred the patient to the attending provider, or referred the patient to the facility for testing
  • Payment arrangements - A formal payment plan set up when the balance due cannot be entirely paid by the due date 
  • Payor - A third-party entity (commercial or government) that pays medical claims
  • Primary care physician (PCP - The provider who provides well and sick care for the patient
  • Prior authorization/precertification - A formal approval obtained from the insurance company prior to delivery of medical services. Many insurance companies require prior authorization or precertification for specific medical services.
  • Remittance mailing address - The address to send payment for goods or services received
  • Subscriber - The person who holds and/or is responsible for the medical insurance policy

Need help with a medical term?

Need help understanding the medical terminology on your billing statement? Search Conditions We Treat on our website or visit MedlinePlus, the medical dictionary from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.