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Terms & Acronyms

Below is a useful a glossary of terms and acronyms used in the Mental Health System.

Evidence-based practice that improves outcomes for people with severe mental illness who are most at-risk of psychiatric crisis and hospitalization and involvement in the criminal justice system.

One of the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs).


A term previously used by the state of Iowa.  Chronic, persistent, mental illness requiring services to maintain necessary daily living, financial & vocational skills. Now known as MI - Mental Illness.

Federal agency that oversees the Medicaid and Medicare programs and has to approve state plans for the Medicaid waivers.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Service funded by Intellectual Disability (ID) Waiver and Habilitation Services; focus is increasing/maintaining functional skills and community integration.

Disability with onset before the age of 21.

Purpose is to defend and promote the human and legal rights of Iowans who have disabilities or mental illness.

Disability Rights Iowa

Federal Title XIX funds that pay for services for people with BI.

Home & Community-Based Services Brain Injury Waiver Information Packet

Federal Title XIX funds that pay for services for people with ID.

Home & Community-Based Services Intellectual Disability Waiver Information Packet

State department whose mission is to provide high quality programs and services that protect and improve the health and resiliency of individuals, families, and communities.

Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Federal legislation intended to make it easier to switch between insurance companies but also calls for strict adherence to privacy and security in handling Personal Health Information (PHI).

HIPPA & Your Health Rights

Intensive level of care; monitored by Iowa’s Department of Inspections and Appeals.

Problems with cognitive skills; services may be needed in order to increase or maintain functional skills.

A service plan written for students in school based on strengths and preferences of the individual.

Administers Medicaid services and oversees Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) by authority of DHS.

A free service available to people of all abilities who want to become more informed and effective advocates.

InfoNET Iowa

Comprehensive services that deal with both physical and behavioral health provided by a team of professionals led by a Care Coordinator.

Integrated Health Home

One of the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs).

Iowa Total Care

State agency using federal and state funds to assist individuals with employment and educational services.

Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Determination of level of need a person requires.

SF 2315 created regions that are now responsible for funding.  MH/DS of the East Central Region or ECR is one of 14 in Iowa.


Organization that provides management of insurance programs (Medicaid).

A team of mental health professionals meeting a person in crisis where they are (anywhere in the region).

An 8-hour course that teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Chronic, persistent, mental illness requiring services to maintain necessary daily living, financial & vocational skills.

Landmark civil rights decision finding that unjustified institutionalization of people with disabilities is illegal discrimination.

Serves as an independent and impartial agency to which citizens can air their grievances about government.

Daily charge for services.

Group living situation, lower level of care than ICF level of care.

Policy that anyone seeking mental health services will be seen on the first day they request it.

An assessment used to evaluate the support needs of a person with an Intellectual or Developmental Disability through a positive and thorough interview process.

Term used primarily by federal government; dysfunction in mental or emotional processes requiring services.

Competitive integrated community employment, preferably in an individual placement, but can be in a group setting.

The assumption that everyone has had some type of trauma and using skills to not re-traumatize.

Federal legislation intended to bring more people with disabilities into integrated, competitive community employment and focuses on youth transitioning out of high school.

A self-designed prevention and wellness tool that can be used to get well, and stay well. WRAP is for anyone, any time, and for any of life's challenges.