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Acronym Glossary

Acronyms are often used by public and private agencies as timesaving, shorthand ways to communicate lengthy titles or basic concepts. This glossary provides a quick reference to the terms, acronyms and abbreviations commonly used by this Department.

Topics A

  • AA/CRC

    Affirmative Action/Civil Rights Compliance - Department of Health Services, Division of Enterprise Services, Bureau of Human Resources.

  • AAA

    Area Agency on Aging; substate planning and coordinating agency authorized by federal Older Americans Act; 3 in Wisconsin.

  • AaR

    Adults at Risk - as defined in Wis. Stat. § 55.043(1e), means any adult who has a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs his or her ability to care for his or her needs and who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation.

    Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents

  • ABP

    Alternative Benefit Plan

  • ACA

    Affordable Care Act; a health care reform law designed to make affordable health insurance available to more people, expand Medicaid, and support medical care at lower costs. 


    Online tool to determine eligibility for health and nutrition public assistance programs, to apply for benefits and for members to manage their accounts.

  • ACEs

    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are negative occurrences in childhood, including abuse, neglect, or household dysfunction, which are linked to compromised health and well-being in adulthood.

  • ACM

    Asbestos-containing materials; asbestos or any material or product which contains more than one percent of asbestos.
  • ACO

    Accountable Care Organization

    Aspen Central Office

  • ADA

    Americans with Disabilities Act; PL 101- 336, as amended; 42 USC 12101 - 12213.
  • ADAP

    AIDS/HIV Drug Assistance Program
  • ADL

    Disabilities in Activities of Daily Living

  • Administrative Directives

    Formal DHS directives that establish basic Department policy and procedure for general operations, that apply only to Department staff and that are issued by the Secretary's Office from time to time in a standard written format following a determination that the particular policy and procedure should be disseminated throughout the Department. Included in the Department's Operations Directives Manual.
  • ADP

    Average daily population.
  • ADRC

    Aging and Disability Resource Centers, or ADRCs, offer the general public a single source of objective information and assistance on issues effecting older people and people with disabilities. Also, ADRCs are the local entry-way to obtain publicly funded long term care.

  • Adult Family Home (a)

    A home certified by a county social services or human services department, in which 1 or 2 adults unrelated to the operator reside and which provides a structured living arrangement for residents.
  • Adult Family Home (b)

    A home for 3 to 4 developmentally disabled adults who receive care and maintenance above the level of board and room, but not nursing care, from the person whose home it is, and who for the most part lived in the home when they were younger and it was regulated as a foster home for children. Certified under ch. HSS 82 rules.
  • Adult Family Home (c)

    A home for 3 or 4 adults who receive care, treatment and services above the level of board and room, but not nursing care. Licensed under ch. HSS 88 rules.
  • AED

    Automated External Defibrillator
  • AFH

    Adult Family Home
  • Age Discrimination Act of 1967

    Federal law, 29 USC 621 to 634, prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of age.
  • Age Discrimination Act of 1975

    Federal law, 42 USC 6101 et seq., prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age in federally funded programs or activities.
  • Aging Network

    A diverse group of organizations that work on behalf of older adults.

  • AHA

    American Heart Association

    Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, PL 99-519, 15 USC 2641 et. seq., relating to asbestos abatement in schools.
  • AHSI

    Automated Health Services, Inc. (enrollment broker)

  • AIDS

    Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • Ambulatory Surgical Center

    A facility operated exclusively to provide surgical services to patients who do not require overnight hospitalization. Term usually refers to distinct, freestanding centers certified under federal Medicare program. There are also hospital-affiliated ambulatory surgery centers.
  • AMIA

    American Medical Informatics Association
  • AOA

    Administration on Aging 

  • AODA

    Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.
  • APHA

    American Public Health Association.
  • Applied Receipts

    Revenues, usually federal, available to offset expenditures for specific services or programs.
  • Appointing Authority

    Any staff person in the Department who has been given the power to appoint individuals to, or to remove them from, subordinate positions.

    Assistant to Regional Field Operations Director (DQA)
  • ASC

    ambulatory surgical center
  • Assisted Living Facility

    Popular name for a place where 5 or more adults reside which consists of independent apartments and which provides each tenant with up to 28 hours of supportive, personal and nursing services per week; 1997 Wisconsin Act 13 amended statutes to change official name to residential care apartment complex.

    Association of State and Territorial Health Officials - Non-profit public health organization that represents the leaders of State and Territorial health agencies.
Last revised February 14, 2024