Health Services Accessibility: The degree to which individuals are inhibited or facilitated in their ability to gain entry to and to receive care and services from the health care system. Factors influencing this ability include geographic, architectural, transportational, and financial considerations, among others.Health Services: Services for the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.Health Services Needs and Demand: Health services required by a population or community as well as the health services that the population or community is able and willing to pay for.Mental Health Services: Organized services to provide mental health care.Family Planning Services: Health care programs or services designed to assist individuals in the planning of family size. Various methods of CONTRACEPTION can be used to control the number and timing of childbirths.Home Care Services: Community health and NURSING SERVICES providing coordinated multiple services to the patient at the patient's homes. These home-care services are provided by a visiting nurse, home health agencies, HOSPITALS, or organized community groups using professional staff for care delivery. It differs from HOME NURSING which is provided by non-professionals.Health Services Research: The integration of epidemiologic, sociological, economic, and other analytic sciences in the study of health services. Health services research is usually concerned with relationships between need, demand, supply, use, and outcome of health services. The aim of the research is evaluation, particularly in terms of structure, process, output, and outcome. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)Community Health Services: Diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive health services provided for individuals in the community.Rural Health Services: Health services, public or private, in rural areas. The services include the promotion of health and the delivery of health care.Health Services for the Aged: Services for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the aged and the maintenance of health in the elderly.Child Health Services: Organized services to provide health care for children.Reproductive Health Services: Health care services related to human REPRODUCTION and diseases of the reproductive system. Services are provided to both sexes and usually by physicians in the medical or the surgical specialties such as REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE; ANDROLOGY; GYNECOLOGY; OBSTETRICS; and PERINATOLOGY.Preventive Health Services: Services designed for HEALTH PROMOTION and prevention of disease.Maternal Health Services: Organized services to provide health care to expectant and nursing mothers.Community Mental Health Services: Diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive mental health services provided for individuals in the community.Emergency Medical Services: Services specifically designed, staffed, and equipped for the emergency care of patients.Adolescent Health Services: Organized services to provide health care to adolescents, ages ranging from 13 through 18 years.United StatesLibrary Services: Services offered to the library user. They include reference and circulation.Contract Services: Outside services provided to an institution under a formal financial agreement.Diagnostic Services: Organized services for the purpose of providing diagnosis to promote and maintain health.Nursing Services: A general concept referring to the organization and administration of nursing activities.Delivery of Health Care: The concept concerned with all aspects of providing and distributing health services to a patient population.Health Services Administration: The organization and administration of health services dedicated to the delivery of health care.Urban Health Services: Health services, public or private, in urban areas. The services include the promotion of health and the delivery of health care.Women's Health Services: Organized services to provide health care to women. It excludes maternal care services for which MATERNAL HEALTH SERVICES is available.State Medicine: A system of medical care regulated, controlled and financed by the government, in which the government assumes responsibility for the health needs of the population.Genetic Services: Organized services to provide diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of genetic disorders.United States Dept. of Health and Human Services: A cabinet department in the Executive Branch of the United States Government concerned with administering those agencies and offices having programs pertaining to health and human services.Dental Health Services: Services designed to promote, maintain, or restore dental health.Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (U.S.): A component of the Department of Health and Human Services to oversee and direct the Medicare and Medicaid programs and related Federal medical care quality control staffs. Name was changed effective June 14, 2001.Patient Acceptance of Health Care: The seeking and acceptance by patients of health service.Health Care Surveys: Statistical measures of utilization and other aspects of the provision of health care services including hospitalization and ambulatory care.Great BritainReferral and Consultation: The practice of sending a patient to another program or practitioner for services or advice which the referring source is not prepared to provide.Emergency Service, Hospital: Hospital department responsible for the administration and provision of immediate medical or surgical care to the emergency patient.Health Services, Indigenous: Health care provided to specific cultural or tribal peoples which incorporates local customs, beliefs, and taboos.Social Work: The use of community resources, individual case work, or group work to promote the adaptive capacities of individuals in relation to their social and economic environments. It includes social service agencies.EnglandQuality of Health Care: The levels of excellence which characterize the health service or health care provided based on accepted standards of quality.Questionnaires: Predetermined sets of questions used to collect data - clinical data, social status, occupational group, etc. The term is often applied to a self-completed survey instrument.Occupational Health Services: Health services for employees, usually provided by the employer at the place of work.Marketing of Health Services: Application of marketing principles and techniques to maximize the use of health care resources.Primary Health Care: Care which provides integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community. (JAMA 1995;273(3):192)Personal Health Services: Health care provided to individuals.Patient Satisfaction: The degree to which the individual regards the health care service or product or the manner in which it is delivered by the provider as useful, effective, or beneficial.Program Evaluation: Studies designed to assess the efficacy of programs. They may include the evaluation of cost-effectiveness, the extent to which objectives are met, or impact.Delivery of Health Care, Integrated: A health care system which combines physicians, hospitals, and other medical services with a health plan to provide the complete spectrum of medical care for its customers. In a fully integrated system, the three key elements - physicians, hospital, and health plan membership - are in balance in terms of matching medical resources with the needs of purchasers and patients. (Coddington et al., Integrated Health Care: Reorganizing the Physician, Hospital and Health Plan Relationship, 1994, p7)National Health Programs: Components of a national health care system which administer specific services, e.g., national health insurance.Pharmaceutical Services: Total pharmaceutical services provided by qualified PHARMACISTS. In addition to the preparation and distribution of medical products, they may include consultative services provided to agencies and institutions which do not have a qualified pharmacist.Emergency Services, Psychiatric: Organized services to provide immediate psychiatric care to patients with acute psychological disturbances.Mental Disorders: Psychiatric illness or diseases manifested by breakdowns in the adaptational process expressed primarily as abnormalities of thought, feeling, and behavior producing either distress or impairment of function.Needs Assessment: Systematic identification of a population's needs or the assessment of individuals to determine the proper level of services needed.Insurance, Physician Services: Insurance providing benefits for the costs of care by a physician which can be comprehensive or limited to surgical expenses or for care provided only in the hospital. It is frequently called "regular medical expense" or "surgical expense".Models, Organizational: Theoretical representations and constructs that describe or explain the structure and hierarchy of relationships and interactions within or between formal organizational entities or informal social groups.Socioeconomic Factors: Social and economic factors that characterize the individual or group within the social structure.Interviews as Topic: Conversations with an individual or individuals held in order to obtain information about their background and other personal biographical data, their attitudes and opinions, etc. It includes school admission or job interviews.Financing, Government: Federal, state, or local government organized methods of financial assistance.Cross-Sectional Studies: Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.Health Expenditures: The amounts spent by individuals, groups, nations, or private or public organizations for total health care and/or its various components. These amounts may or may not be equivalent to the actual costs (HEALTH CARE COSTS) and may or may not be shared among the patient, insurers, and/or employers.Health Care Costs: The actual costs of providing services related to the delivery of health care, including the costs of procedures, therapies, and medications. It is differentiated from HEALTH EXPENDITURES, which refers to the amount of money paid for the services, and from fees, which refers to the amount charged, regardless of cost.LondonInternet: A loose confederation of computer communication networks around the world. The networks that make up the Internet are connected through several backbone networks. The Internet grew out of the US Government ARPAnet project and was designed to facilitate information exchange.Health Policy: Decisions, usually developed by government policymakers, for determining present and future objectives pertaining to the health care system.Ambulatory Care: Health care services provided to patients on an ambulatory basis, rather than by admission to a hospital or other health care facility. The services may be a part of a hospital, augmenting its inpatient services, or may be provided at a free-standing facility.Costs and Cost Analysis: Absolute, comparative, or differential costs pertaining to services, institutions, resources, etc., or the analysis and study of these costs.Health Care Reform: Innovation and improvement of the health care system by reappraisal, amendment of services, and removal of faults and abuses in providing and distributing health services to patients. It includes a re-alignment of health services and health insurance to maximum demographic elements (the unemployed, indigent, uninsured, elderly, inner cities, rural areas) with reference to coverage, hospitalization, pricing and cost containment, insurers' and employers' costs, pre-existing medical conditions, prescribed drugs, equipment, and services.Qualitative Research: Any type of research that employs nonnumeric information to explore individual or group characteristics, producing findings not arrived at by statistical procedures or other quantitative means. (Qualitative Inquiry: A Dictionary of Terms Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1997)Fees and Charges: Amounts charged to the patient as payer for health care services.Attitude of Health Personnel: Attitudes of personnel toward their patients, other professionals, toward the medical care system, etc.Family Practice: A medical specialty concerned with the provision of continuing, comprehensive primary health care for the entire family.Data Collection: Systematic gathering of data for a particular purpose from various sources, including questionnaires, interviews, observation, existing records, and electronic devices. The process is usually preliminary to statistical analysis of the data.Catchment Area (Health): A geographic area defined and served by a health program or institution.Consumer Satisfaction: Customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a benefit or service received.Ambulances: A vehicle equipped for transporting patients in need of emergency care.Utilization Review: An organized procedure carried out through committees to review admissions, duration of stay, professional services furnished, and to evaluate the medical necessity of those services and promote their most efficient use.Ambulatory Care Facilities: Those facilities which administer health services to individuals who do not require hospitalization or institutionalization.Medicaid: Federal program, created by Public Law 89-97, Title XIX, a 1965 amendment to the Social Security Act, administered by the states, that provides health care benefits to indigent and medically indigent persons.United States Indian Health Service: A division of the UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE that is responsible for the public health and the provision of medical services to NATIVE AMERICANS in the United States, primarily those residing on reservation lands.Military Personnel: Persons including soldiers involved with the armed forces.Public Sector: The area of a nation's economy that is tax-supported and under government control.Rural Population: The inhabitants of rural areas or of small towns classified as rural.Health Planning: Planning for needed health and/or welfare services and facilities.Food Services: Functions, equipment, and facilities concerned with the preparation and distribution of ready-to-eat food.Health Services Misuse: Excessive, under or unnecessary utilization of health services by patients or physicians.Healthcare Disparities: Differences in access to or availability of medical facilities and services.Cost-Benefit Analysis: A method of comparing the cost of a program with its expected benefits in dollars (or other currency). The benefit-to-cost ratio is a measure of total return expected per unit of money spent. This analysis generally excludes consideration of factors that are not measured ultimately in economic terms. Cost effectiveness compares alternative ways to achieve a specific set of results.United States Health Resources and Services Administration: A component of the PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE that provides leadership related to the delivery of health services and the requirements for and distribution of health resources, including manpower training.Counseling: The giving of advice and assistance to individuals with educational or personal problems.Patient Care Team: Care of patients by a multidisciplinary team usually organized under the leadership of a physician; each member of the team has specific responsibilities and the whole team contributes to the care of the patient.Focus Groups: A method of data collection and a QUALITATIVE RESEARCH tool in which a small group of individuals are brought together and allowed to interact in a discussion of their opinions about topics, issues, or questions.Mobile Health Units: Movable or portable facilities in which diagnostic and therapeutic services are provided to the community.Private Sector: That distinct portion of the institutional, industrial, or economic structure of a country that is controlled or owned by non-governmental, private interests.Public Health Administration: Management of public health organizations or agencies.Quality Assurance, Health Care: Activities and programs intended to assure or improve the quality of care in either a defined medical setting or a program. The concept includes the assessment or evaluation of the quality of care; identification of problems or shortcomings in the delivery of care; designing activities to overcome these deficiencies; and follow-up monitoring to ensure effectiveness of corrective steps.Hospitals, Public: Hospitals controlled by various types of government, i.e., city, county, district, state or federal.Insurance, Health: Insurance providing coverage of medical, surgical, or hospital care in general or for which there is no specific heading.Community Pharmacy Services: Total pharmaceutical services provided to the public through community pharmacies.Telemedicine: Delivery of health services via remote telecommunications. This includes interactive consultative and diagnostic services.Student Health Services: Health services for college and university students usually provided by the educational institution.School Health Services: Preventive health services provided for students. It excludes college or university students.Health Resources: Available manpower, facilities, revenue, equipment, and supplies to produce requisite health care and services.Continuity of Patient Care: Health care provided on a continuing basis from the initial contact, following the patient through all phases of medical care.Developing Countries: Countries in the process of change with economic growth, that is, an increase in production, per capita consumption, and income. The process of economic growth involves better utilization of natural and human resources, which results in a change in the social, political, and economic structures.Reimbursement Mechanisms: Processes or methods of reimbursement for services rendered or equipment.Regional Health Planning: Planning for health resources at a regional or multi-state level.Substance Abuse Treatment Centers: Health facilities providing therapy and/or rehabilitation for substance-dependent individuals. Methadone distribution centers are included.Program Development: The process of formulating, improving, and expanding educational, managerial, or service-oriented work plans (excluding computer program development).Social Welfare: Organized institutions which provide services to ameliorate conditions of need or social pathology in the community.Community Health Centers: Facilities which administer the delivery of health care services to people living in a community or neighborhood.Outsourced Services: Organizational activities previously performed internally that are provided by external agents.Medicare: Federal program, created by Public Law 89-97, Title XVIII-Health Insurance for the Aged, a 1965 amendment to the Social Security Act, that provides health insurance benefits to persons over the age of 65 and others eligible for Social Security benefits. It consists of two separate but coordinated programs: hospital insurance (MEDICARE PART A) and supplementary medical insurance (MEDICARE PART B). (Hospital Administration Terminology, AHA, 2d ed and A Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, US House of Representatives, 1976)Insurance, Health, Reimbursement: Payment by a third-party payer in a sum equal to the amount expended by a health care provider or facility for health services rendered to an insured or program beneficiary. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Hotlines: A direct communication system, usually telephone, established for instant contact. It is designed to provide special information and assistance through trained personnel and is used for counseling, referrals, and emergencies such as poisonings and threatened suicides.Outpatient Clinics, Hospital: Organized services in a hospital which provide medical care on an outpatient basis.Outcome Assessment (Health Care): Research aimed at assessing the quality and effectiveness of health care as measured by the attainment of a specified end result or outcome. Measures include parameters such as improved health, lowered morbidity or mortality, and improvement of abnormal states (such as elevated blood pressure).Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Libraries, MedicalAllied Health Personnel: Health care workers specially trained and licensed to assist and support the work of health professionals. Often used synonymously with paramedical personnel, the term generally refers to all health care workers who perform tasks which must otherwise be performed by a physician or other health professional.Home Care Services, Hospital-Based: Hospital-sponsored provision of health services, such as nursing, therapy, and health-related homemaker or social services, in the patient's home. (Hospital Administration Terminology, 2d ed)Medically Underserved Area: A geographic location which has insufficient health resources (manpower and/or facilities) to meet the medical needs of the resident population.Health Personnel: Men and women working in the provision of health services, whether as individual practitioners or employees of health institutions and programs, whether or not professionally trained, and whether or not subject to public regulation. (From A Discursive Dictionary of Health Care, 1976)Ancillary Services, Hospital: Those support services other than room, board, and medical and nursing services that are provided to hospital patients in the course of care. They include such services as laboratory, radiology, pharmacy, and physical therapy services.Nursing Service, Hospital: The hospital department which is responsible for the organization and administration of nursing activities.HIV Infections: Includes the spectrum of human immunodeficiency virus infections that range from asymptomatic seropositivity, thru AIDS-related complex (ARC), to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).Maternal-Child Health Centers: Facilities which administer the delivery of health care services to mothers and children.Community-Institutional Relations: The interactions between members of a community and representatives of the institutions within that community.Efficiency, Organizational: The capacity of an organization, institution, or business to produce desired results with a minimum expenditure of energy, time, money, personnel, materiel, etc.Interinstitutional Relations: The interactions between representatives of institutions, agencies, or organizations.Health Facilities: Institutions which provide medical or health-related services.Comprehensive Health Care: Providing for the full range of personal health services for diagnosis, treatment, follow-up and rehabilitation of patients.Poverty: A situation in which the level of living of an individual, family, or group is below the standard of the community. It is often related to a specific income level.Attitude to Health: Public attitudes toward health, disease, and the medical care system.ScotlandAfter-Hours Care: Medical care provided after the regular practice schedule of the physicians. Usually it is designed to deliver 24-hour-a-day and 365-day-a-year patient care coverage for emergencies, triage, pediatric care, or hospice care.Hospitals, Psychiatric: Special hospitals which provide care to the mentally ill patient.Organizational Innovation: Introduction of changes which are new to the organization and are created by management.Retrospective Studies: Studies used to test etiologic hypotheses in which inferences about an exposure to putative causal factors are derived from data relating to characteristics of persons under study or to events or experiences in their past. The essential feature is that some of the persons under study have the disease or outcome of interest and their characteristics are compared with those of unaffected persons.Organizational Case Studies: Descriptions and evaluations of specific health care organizations.Regional Medical Programs: Coordination of activities and programs among health care institutions within defined geographic areas for the purpose of improving delivery and quality of medical care to the patients. These programs are mandated under U.S. Public Law 89-239.Prenatal Care: Care provided the pregnant woman in order to prevent complications, and decrease the incidence of maternal and prenatal mortality.Fees, Medical: Amounts charged to the patient as payer for medical services.Hospitalization: The confinement of a patient in a hospital.Logistic Models: Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.Direct Service Costs: Costs which are directly identifiable with a particular service.Ontario: A province of Canada lying between the provinces of Manitoba and Quebec. Its capital is Toronto. It takes its name from Lake Ontario which is said to represent the Iroquois oniatariio, beautiful lake. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p892 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p391)CaliforniaHealth Care Rationing: Planning for the equitable allocation, apportionment, or distribution of available health resources.Long-Term Care: Care over an extended period, usually for a chronic condition or disability, requiring periodic, intermittent, or continuous care.Oncology Service, Hospital: The hospital department responsible for the administration and provision of diagnostic and therapeutic services for the cancer patient.Australia: The smallest continent and an independent country, comprising six states and two territories. Its capital is Canberra.Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care): Evaluation procedures that focus on both the outcome or status (OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT) of the patient at the end of an episode of care - presence of symptoms, level of activity, and mortality; and the process (ASSESSMENT, PROCESS) - what is done for the patient diagnostically and therapeutically.Cooperative Behavior: The interaction of two or more persons or organizations directed toward a common goal which is mutually beneficial. An act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose or benefit, i.e., joint action. (From Random House Dictionary Unabridged, 2d ed)Financing, Organized: All organized methods of funding.Urban Population: The inhabitants of a city or town, including metropolitan areas and suburban areas.Substance-Related Disorders: Disorders related to substance abuse.Infant, Newborn: An infant during the first month after birth.Health Priorities: Preferentially rated health-related activities or functions to be used in establishing health planning goals. This may refer specifically to PL93-641.Specialization: An occupation limited in scope to a subsection of a broader field.Military Medicine: The practice of medicine as applied to special circumstances associated with military operations.Emergency Medical Service Communication Systems: The use of communication systems, such as telecommunication, to transmit emergency information to appropriate providers of health services.Health Promotion: Encouraging consumer behaviors most likely to optimize health potentials (physical and psychosocial) through health information, preventive programs, and access to medical care.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Emergency Medical Technicians: Paramedical personnel trained to provide basic emergency care and life support under the supervision of physicians and/or nurses. These services may be carried out at the site of the emergency, in the ambulance, or in a health care institution.Caregivers: Persons who provide care to those who need supervision or assistance in illness or disability. They may provide the care in the home, in a hospital, or in an institution. Although caregivers include trained medical, nursing, and other health personnel, the concept also refers to parents, spouses, or other family members, friends, members of the clergy, teachers, social workers, fellow patients.Public Health: Branch of medicine concerned with the prevention and control of disease and disability, and the promotion of physical and mental health of the population on the international, national, state, or municipal level.Remote Consultation: Consultation via remote telecommunications, generally for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of a patient at a site remote from the patient or primary physician.Pharmacy Service, Hospital: Hospital department responsible for the receiving, storing, and distribution of pharmaceutical supplies.Professional-Patient Relations: Interactions between health personnel and patients.Postal Service: The functions and activities carried out by the U.S. Postal Service, foreign postal services, and private postal services such as Federal Express.Managed Care Programs: Health insurance plans intended to reduce unnecessary health care costs through a variety of mechanisms, including: economic incentives for physicians and patients to select less costly forms of care; programs for reviewing the medical necessity of specific services; increased beneficiary cost sharing; controls on inpatient admissions and lengths of stay; the establishment of cost-sharing incentives for outpatient surgery; selective contracting with health care providers; and the intensive management of high-cost health care cases. The programs may be provided in a variety of settings, such as HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS and PREFERRED PROVIDER ORGANIZATIONS.Professional Role: The expected function of a member of a particular profession.Cardiology Service, Hospital: The hospital department responsible for the administration and provision of diagnostic and therapeutic services for the cardiac patient.Prevalence: The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from INCIDENCE, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time.Case Management: A traditional term for all the activities which a physician or other health care professional normally performs to insure the coordination of the medical services required by a patient. It also, when used in connection with managed care, covers all the activities of evaluating the patient, planning treatment, referral, and follow-up so that care is continuous and comprehensive and payment for the care is obtained. (From Slee & Slee, Health Care Terms, 2nd ed)Social Support: Support systems that provide assistance and encouragement to individuals with physical or emotional disabilities in order that they may better cope. Informal social support is usually provided by friends, relatives, or peers, while formal assistance is provided by churches, groups, etc.Computer Communication Networks: A system containing any combination of computers, computer terminals, printers, audio or visual display devices, or telephones interconnected by telecommunications equipment or cables: used to transmit or receive information. (Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Veterans: Former members of the armed services.Hospital Departments: Major administrative divisions of the hospital.Privatization: Process of shifting publicly controlled services and/or facilities to the private sector.Insurance Coverage: Generally refers to the amount of protection available and the kind of loss which would be paid for under an insurance contract with an insurer. (Slee & Slee, Health Care Terms, 2d ed)Dental Service, Hospital: Hospital department providing dental care.User-Computer Interface: The portion of an interactive computer program that issues messages to and receives commands from a user.Physicians: Individuals licensed to practice medicine.Software: Sequential operating programs and data which instruct the functioning of a digital computer.Information Systems: Integrated set of files, procedures, and equipment for the storage, manipulation, and retrieval of information.Eligibility Determination: Criteria to determine eligibility of patients for medical care programs and services.Air Ambulances: Fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters equipped for air transport of patients.Health Status: The level of health of the individual, group, or population as subjectively assessed by the individual or by more objective measures.Canada: The largest country in North America, comprising 10 provinces and three territories. Its capital is Ottawa.Transportation of Patients: Conveying ill or injured individuals from one place to another.WalesRural Health: The status of health in rural populations.Databases, Factual: Extensive collections, reputedly complete, of facts and data garnered from material of a specialized subject area and made available for analysis and application. The collection can be automated by various contemporary methods for retrieval. The concept should be differentiated from DATABASES, BIBLIOGRAPHIC which is restricted to collections of bibliographic references.Night Care: Institutional night care of patients.Health Manpower: The availability of HEALTH PERSONNEL. It includes the demand and recruitment of both professional and allied health personnel, their present and future supply and distribution, and their assignment and utilization.Community Health Workers: Persons trained to assist professional health personnel in communicating with residents in the community concerning needs and availability of health services.Health Maintenance Organizations: Organized systems for providing comprehensive prepaid health care that have five basic attributes: (1) provide care in a defined geographic area; (2) provide or ensure delivery of an agreed-upon set of basic and supplemental health maintenance and treatment services; (3) provide care to a voluntarily enrolled group of persons; (4) require their enrollees to use the services of designated providers; and (5) receive reimbursement through a predetermined, fixed, periodic prepayment made by the enrollee without regard to the degree of services provided. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Cost Control: The containment, regulation, or restraint of costs. Costs are said to be contained when the value of resources committed to an activity is not considered excessive. This determination is frequently subjective and dependent upon the specific geographic area of the activity being measured. (From Dictionary of Health Services Management, 2d ed)South Africa: A republic in southern Africa, the southernmost part of Africa. It has three capitals: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative), and Bloemfontein (judicial). Officially the Republic of South Africa since 1960, it was called the Union of South Africa 1910-1960.Physicians, Family: Those physicians who have completed the education requirements specified by the American Academy of Family Physicians.