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health maintenance organization

Any organization that, through an organized system of health care, provides or assures the delivery of an agreed-upon set of comprehensive health maintenance and treatment services for an enrolled group of persons under a prepaid fixed sum. Services usually include primary care, emergency care, acute hospital care, extended care, and rehabilitation. To be considered a "Federally Qualified Health Maintenance Organization," the HMO must meet the provisions of the HMO Act, P.L. 93-222, as amended in Title XIII of the Public Health Service Act.

Definition extracted with permission from American Academy of Family Physicians: Family Physicians and Managed Care


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