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Glossary beginning with N
- National Claims History System (NCH)
A HCFA data reporting system that combines both Part A and Part B claims in a common file. The NCH system became fully operational in 1991.
- National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA)
A non-profit organization created to improve patient care quality and health plan performance in partnership with managed care plans, purchasers, consumers, and the public sector.
- National Drug Code (NDC)
Classification system for drug identification, similar to UPC code.
- National Health Insurance
Proposal by politicians to make government the single payer for all health care, similar to Great Britain or Canada. Providers like some aspects of this idea because it provides for "universal coverage" for all citizens. However, businesses and providers (as businesses themselves) dislike the idea of the government administering a program that they will either have to fund or be funded by. Proposals for national health insurance are surely to be debated by politicians for many years to come. See also Universal Coverage.
- National Practitioner Data Bank
A computerized data bank maintained by the federal government that contains information on physicians against whom malpractice claims have been paid or certain disciplinary actions have been taken. Hospitals and other agencies pay a fee to access these records. Many regulatory agencies now require hospitals to utilize the NPDB prior to credentialing physicians at their facilities.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (Neo ICU)
A hospital unit with special equipment for the care of premature and seriously ill newborn infants.
An affiliation of providers through formal and informal contracts and agreements. Networks may contract externally to obtain administrative and financial services. A list of physicians, hospitals and other providers who provide health care services to the beneficiaries of a specific managed care organization. See also IDS, PPO, PHO or Hospital Alliances.
- Network Model HMO
This type of HMO contracts with more than one physician group and may contract with single or multi-specialty groups as well as hospitals and other health care providers. A health plan that contracts with multiple physician groups to deliver health care to members. Generally limited to large single or multi-specialty groups. Distinguished from group model plans that contract with a single medical group, IPA's that contract through an intermediary, and direct contract model plans that contract with individual physicians in the community.
- Non-participating Physician (or Provider)
A provider, doctor or hospital that does not sign a contract to participate in a health plan, usually which requires reduced rates from the provider. In the Medicare Program, this refers to providers who are therefore not obligated to accept assignment on all Medicare claims. In commercial plans, non-participating providers are also called out of network providers or out of plan providers. If a beneficiary receives service from an out of network provider, the health plan (other than Medicare) will pay for the service at a reduced rate or will not pay at all.
- Non-Plan Provider
A health care provider without a contract with an insurer. Same as nonparticipating provider.
- Nurse Practitioner
A registered nurse qualified and specially trained to provide primary care, including primary health care in homes and in ambulatory care facilities, long-term care facilities, and other health care institutions. Nurse practitioners generally function under the supervision of a physician but not necessarily in his/her or her presence. They are usually salaried rather than reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis, although the supervising physician may receive fee-for-service reimbursement for their services. Are also considered "midlevel practitioners".