ATA's Accreditation Program for Online Patient Consultations

Glossary of Terms

This glossary lists terms and definitions used in all Accreditation Program documents. 

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Accredited Organization: an entity that has been determined by ATA to meet all ATA Standards, has agreed to the Rules and Terms, and has been awarded a license to use the ATA Seal of Accreditation.

Accreditation:  the recognition awarded to an Organization for compliance with ATA Standards through a survey and review verification process that encompasses policies/procedures, documentation, demonstration of services and online resources available to patients.

Accreditation Cycle:  the interval of time during which an accreditation is awarded to an Organization. The length of a normal accreditation cycle is 3 years unless the accreditation is suspended or terminated. An accreditation cycle begins on the date of approval and ends the day before the anniversary date three years later.

Accreditation Fee(s):  the amount submitted by the Organization to enter into the accreditation process as provided in the ATA Fees Schedule. This amount is paid for each three (3)-year accreditation cycle.

ADA:  Americans with Disabilities Act

Affiliates: a parent, subsidiary, sister organization, or other organizations that are legally related to each other in some way.

Annual Reporting Fee(s):  the amount payable by Accredited Organizations as provided in the ATA Fees Schedule for the review of the required annual reporting. This fee is payable prior to the beginning of year 2 and year 3.

Applicant:  an Organization that has applied for ATA accreditation and whose authorized representative has agreed, on behalf of the Organization and its owners, to adhere to applicable state and federal law, compliance to ATA Accreditation Standards, and all requirements set forth the ATA Administrative Rules and Terms.

Asynchronous Consultative Services:  the store and forward transmission of medical images and/or clinical data from one site to another. The data transfer takes place over a period of time. The transmission typically does not take place simultaneously. This is the opposite of synchronous or real-time interaction.

ATA Standards:  the principal requirements for the ATA Online Patient Consultations Accreditation Program.

 a formal examination and review.

Blue Button:  a tool to make patient medical records easily available for patients to download and share with members of their health care team.

CCD:  Continuity of Care Document, an implementation guide and joint effort of Health Level Seven International (HL7) and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that fosters interoperability of clinical data by allowing physicians to send electronic medical information to other providers without loss of meaning and enabling improvement of patient care.

Compliance Review Fee(s):  fees that may be charged, in addition to the Accreditation and Annual Reporting Fees, if a second or subsequent review and/or survey is needed for an Organization in any three (3)‐year period.

Compliance Indicator(s):
 informational items in the ATA Standards designed to assist surveyors in the conduct of reviews and/or surveys, and to assist Applicants and Accredited Organizations in meeting ATA Standards and maintaining compliance.

Current Procedural Terminology, the most widely accepted medical nomenclature used to report medical procedures and services under public and private health insurance programs.

 Drug Enforcement Administration

DSM-V:  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, offering a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders.

Emergency Management:  the framework within which an Organization reduces vulnerabilities and threats to its operations. Emergency plans focus on decreasing negative impacts to key operating areas to remain operable in emergency situations. Events covered include, but are not limited to: acts of terrorism, fire, natural disasters, public disorder, communication failures, data corruption, etc.

ePrescribe:  the use of a secure computer network for sharing patient prescription information between providers, pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers and health plans.

 computer hardware and software that block unauthorized communications between an institution's computer network and external networks.

 Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended. The HIPAA Privacy Rule, issued by the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information. The HIPAA Security Rule, also issued by OCR, sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information.

 Health Information Trust Alliance, - established the Common Security Framework (CSF), an information security framework which harmonizes the requirements of existing standards and regulations, including federal (HIPAA, HITECH), third party (PCI, COBIT), and government (NIST, FTC). CSF can be used by organizations that create, access, store or exchange personal health and financial information.

ICD:  International Classification of Diseases: the standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management, and clinical purposes published by the World Health Organization

Involuntary Termination:  is the removal of an accreditation status based on non-compliance with ATA Standards and/or Administrative Rules and Terms. An accreditation cycle cannot be reinstated if accreditation is removed through involuntary termination. Organizations may be allowed to reapply for accreditation after the non-compliance has been corrected.

ISO:  International Standards Organization (International Organization for Standardization), a non-governmental organization that develops voluntary standards.

ISO 9000:  an ISO family of standards that addresses various aspects of quality management.

ISO 27002:  an ISO standard for information security controls.

ISO 31000:  an ISO standard for risk management.

Modality:  the telecommunications technology used to communicate and transmit information.

NDC: National Drug Code:  National Drug Code (NDC) is a unique product identifier used in the United States for drugs intended for human use.

NPI:  National Provider Identifier, a unique 10-digit identification number issued to health care providers in the United States by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

 a licensed entity providing online patient consultations within the United States.

PCI:  The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Essentially, any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID).

PHI:  Protected Health Information, a term defined by the HIPAA Privacy Rule that protects all "individually identifiable health information" held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral. Individually identifiable health information” is information, including demographic data, that relates to the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition, the provision of health care to the individual, or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of health care to the individual, and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual. Individually identifiable health information includes many common identifiers (e.g., name, address, birth date, Social Security Number). The Privacy Rule excludes from protected health information employment records that a covered entity maintains in its capacity as an employer and education and certain other records subject to, or defined in, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. §1232g.

Prescription Channel:  business associate(s) providing electronic prescription capacity.

Probation:  the result of a non-compliance with ATA Standards and/or Administrative Rules and Terms that is temporary in nature and can be corrected within a 4 month timeframe. Probationary status does not result in loss of accreditation.

Provider:  a licensed healthcare professional providing online patient consultations.

Real-time or live interactive online consultative services:  consultative services provided by a live, licensed professional using real-time interactive two-way audio or video technologies. These services may be supplemented with asynchronous (i.e., email) or other telecommunication technologies. Also referred to as Synchronous consultative services, see definition below.

Registrant:  an Organization that has completed the ATA Registration form and has been determined eligible for the ATA Accreditation Program for Online Patient Consultations.

 the restoration of accreditation once an area or areas of non-compliance has/have been corrected. Reinstatement can only restore the remaining period of time in an accreditation cycle.

Renewal Organization:  an Accredited Organization that is in the last year of its accreditation cycle.

Renewal Applicant:  an Accredited Organization in its last year of a current accreditation cycle which has submitted its renewal application for a new 3-year cycle.

 the assessment of the collected information/data and determination of compliance with ATA Standards and Rules and Terms.

Seal of Accreditation:  
the official mark of the Program signifying that an entity is an Accredited Organization. No reference to the ATA Seal of Accreditation may be made without the express written consent of ATA. Any use of the Seal of Accreditation by an Accredited Organization must comply with the ATA Seal of Accreditation Usage Policies and Procedures.

Scope of Services:
 the range of services provided by the Organization through internet-based, interactive consultations provided by licensed healthcare professionals using real-time, two-way audio or visual technologies directly to consumers.

 the temporary loss of an accreditation status which results from identified non-compliance with ATA Standards and/or Administrative Rules and Terms. An accreditation cycle may be reinstated once the non-compliance is corrected if there is time remaining in the cycle. Otherwise, reapplication would be required to be awarded a new accreditation cycle.

 the collection of documentation, resources, interviews, online demonstration, and website information that will be used to determine compliance with ATA Standards and Rules and Terms.

Synchronous consultative services:  consultative services provided to the consumer using real-time (live interactions), two-way audio or video technologies. Synchronous services may be supplemented with asynchronous* (i.e., email) or other telecommunication technologies by licensed healthcare professionals. Also referred to as Real-time or live interactive online consultative services, see definition above.

Telehealth:  is sometimes used to refer to a broader definition of remote healthcare that does not always involve clinical services, ATA uses the term in the same way one would refer to medicine or health in the common vernacular.

Telemedicine:  the use of medical information exchanged from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s clinical health status. Telemedicine includes a growing variety of applications and services using two-way video, email, smart phones, wireless tools, and other forms of telecommunications technology.

Videoconferencing:  real-time transmission of digital video images between multiple locations.

Voluntary Termination:
 occurs when the Organization chooses to withdraw from ATA’s accreditation program.

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