[Skip to Content]

Common Terms

Common Terms


ABA-Applied Behavior Analysis-type of treatment typically used for individuals on the Autism Spectrum

ABAS-Adaptive Behavior Assessment System-utilized in conjunction with a psychological evaluation to determine eligibility for the IDD System.  The ABAS provides a complete assessment of adaptive skills across the life span

ACT-Assertive Community Treatment- an evidence-based practice that uses a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive services to address the needs of persons with serious behavioral health conditions

ADA-Americans with Disabilities Act

ADHD-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADL-Activities of Daily Living

AE-Administrative Entity-unit at SAM responsible for the administration of base and waiver funded developmental disability services

APA – Alternative Payment Arrangement-alternative way to pay for services by offering incentives

APS-Adult Protective Services

ASAM-American Society of Addiction Medicine-establishes guidelines for addiction medicine and substance use disorder services

ASD-Autism Spectrum Disorder-neurological and developmental disorder

ASERT-Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training-partnership of medical centers, universities, and research centers regarding best practices for individuals with Autism

AT-Assistive Technology-assistive products and services that aid in mobility, communication skills, etc.


BCPS-Berks Connections Pre-Trial Services – a program providing assessment, education and planning to assist with the transition to employment

BKHC-Berks Health Choices Program

BCCYS-Berks County Children Youth Services-Berks County child welfare agency mandated to investigate child abuse/neglect and provide oversight to the child welfare system

BH-Behavioral Health

BH-MCO-Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization

BSC-Behavioral Specialist Consultant-Doctoral level individual who develops behavioral plans and performs functional assessments

BSE-Bureau of Special Education

BSU-Base Service Unit-organization that determines eligibility and payment of services for MH/DD/EI services


CAAC-County Administrators Advisory Committee which is part of the County Commissioners Association of PA

CAC-Certified Addictions Counselor

CADC-Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor

CAO-County Assistance Office-determines eligibility for Medical Assistance

CASSP-Child and Adolescent Service System Program. CASSP helps children, adolescents and their families gain access to needed services. These services are planned collaboratively with the child/adolescent, their family, the child serving systems and other agencies

CCBH-Community Care Behavioral Health -behavioral health Medicaid managed care organization that is the sub-contractor for the Berks HealthChoices Program since 2001

CCRI-Consolidated Community Reporting Initiative-Reporting system for mental health service delivery in PA.

C/FST-Consumer/Family Satisfaction Team-conducts satisfaction surveys for Medicaid individuals receiving behavioral health services

CHC-Community HealthChoices-a Medicaid managed care program for individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid

CHIPP-Community Hospital Integration Program Project-references program dollars and individuals who are discharged from the State Hospital or diverted from admission to a State Hospital facility

 CHW-Community Health Worker-assists Medicaid members and families to navigate and access community resources and services in a team-based approach

CLA-Community Living Arrangement-group home setting for individuals with developmental disabilities

CLW-Community Living Waiver-available to individuals with developmental disabilities.  There is a financial cap for this service

CMS-Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-federal payment source

COCA – Council on Chemical Abuse- Non-profit agency providing addiction resources, prevention education and recovery support.  COCA is the Berks Count SCA.  See SCA

COE-Center of Excellence-provides comprehensive services to individuals with opioid use disorders

 Consolidated Waiver-Developmental Disabilities waiver with no financial cap

CPS-Child Protective Services-Children and Youth term for child safety

CPS-Community Participation Support-Day programming for individuals with Developmental Disabilities

CRR-Community Residential Rehabilitation-group home licensed setting for individuals with mental illness

CRR Host Home-Community Residential Rehabilitation Host Home-therapeutic foster care paid by Medicaid

CRS – Crisis Residential Services-short term residential treatment for adults to stabilize symptoms and behaviors in lieu of hospitalization

CSP-Community Support Program-grassroots group of individuals who focus on holistic needs of adult individuals with mental illness

CYS-Children & Youth Services – a county-based agency focused on protecting children and assuring their physical and emotional well-being and empowering families


D&A-Drug and Alcohol

DD-Developmental Disability-also referred to as intellectual development disability

DDAP-Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs-state organization overseeing drug/alcohol programs in PA

DDTT-Dual Diagnosis Treatment Team-provides services to individuals with co-occurring mental health and intellectual disabilities

DHS-Department of Human Services-state agency that oversees MH/DD/EI and HealthChoices.

DSM-5-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Ed

DSP- Direct Support Professional-employee who provides direct care for individuals with developmental disabilities.


ECO-Early Childhood Outcomes-completed during the beginning of Early Intervention Services and at discharge from Early Intervention Services.  This is assigned to a provider and is completed utilizing the Ounce scale and is documented in the data base.  It is utilized to gauge a child’s progress from entry to exit

ED or ER- Emergency Department or Emergency Room

EI-Early Intervention-provides services from birth through age 3 for developmental disorders

EPSDT-Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment-comprehensive preventative services for Medicaid recipients under the age of 21

ER-Evaluation Report-special education evaluation

ESY-Extended School Year-summer programming for students with IEPs

EVS-Eligibility Verification System-data base for eligibility for Medical Assistance


FAPE-Free Appropriate Public Education

FBMHS-Family Based Mental Health Services-intensive behavioral health services delivered by a team for a period of 32 weeks

FFS-Fee For Service-payment method where billing occurs for units of service

FQHC-Federally Qualified Health Center-provide coordinated behavioral and physical health services

FSS-Family Support Services-support families to assist with the special needs of individuals with disabilities

FWA-Fraud, Waste and Abuse


 GED-General Equivalency Diploma

GRMHA-Greater Reading Mental Health Alliance-organization that advocates for individuals with mental illness, provides representative payee services, and peer support.

GPS-General Protective Services-term used in Child Welfare for case management services in the community


HAP-Homeless Assistance Program-state funding aimed at preventing homelessness and assisting those who are experiencing homelessness

HC- HealthChoices-Pennsylvania’s managed care system for Medicaid recipients-both behavioral health and physical health HC

HCBS-Home and Community Based Services-provides opportunities to receive services in the community rather than institutional care

HCQU-Health Care Quality Unit-nursing organization that provides training and consultation for staff that support individuals with developmental disabilities

HCSIS-Home and Community Services Information System-State data base for MH/DD services

HIPAA-Health Insurance Portability and Accountability

HMO-Health Maintenance Organization

HRP-Health Risk Profile-tool used to define and mitigate risk for individuals receiving developmental disability services.

HSDF- Human Service Development Fund-state funding to support Counties with various unmet needs


IBHS-Intensive Behavioral Health Services – community support services for children, youth, and young adults with mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs

ICF/MR-Intermediate Care Facility/Mental Retardation-larger congregate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities

ICWC-Integrated Community Wellness Center-provides comprehensive behavioral and physical health services.

IDD-Intellectual Developmental Disabilities

IDEA-Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

IEP-Individualized Education Plan-school district plan for education

IFSP-Individualized Family Service Plan-utilized in Early Intervention and is part of a data base.  It is a document developed by the infant/toddlers family and service coordinator which outlines outcomes and services for the child

IM-Incident Management-Documentation, Investigation, and Analysis of incidents that involve health and safety of an individual receiving services

IM4Q-Independent Monitoring for Quality-team that interviews recipients and families receiving services in the Developmental Disabilities system

IOP-Intensive Outpatient-outpatient substance use disorder therapy that occurs several times per week

IP-Inpatient Mental Health hospitalization intended for acute stabilization of symptoms and reducing risk to self or others

IQ-Intelligence Quotient-measurement that determines eligibility for Developmental Disabilities.

ISO-Intermediary Service Organization

ISP-Individual Support Plan-comprehensive document that highlights an individuals life domains and how best to be supported to live successfully in the community.

IST-Instructional Support Team-educational team for a student

IU-Intermediate Unit


 JCAHO-Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

 JPO-Juvenile Probation Office



LEA-Local Educational Agency-School district of the individual student

LRE-Least Restrictive Environment-Care in the least intrusive environment for the individual

LS-Learning Support

LSS-Life Skills Support

LSW-Licensed Social Worker


MA-Medical Assistance

MAT-Medicated Assisted Treatment-for substance use disorders

MCO-Managed Care Organization

MDE-Multidisciplinary Evaluation-comprehensive evaluation that documents all the domains in an individual’s life

MDT-Multidisciplinary Team-comprised of all paid staff and family and natural supports for an individual or family

MH-Mental Health

MH/DD-Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities

MISA-Mentally Ill Substance Abuse

MST-Multisystemic Therapy-type of treatment delivered in a community team model for delinquent type behaviors

MSW-Master of Social Work

MT-Mobile Therapist-therapy delivered in the community as part of IBHS


NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness – grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for Americans affected by mental illness


OCDEL-Office of Child Development and Early Learning-a state office within the PA Department of Human Services that develops, monitors, and evaluates early intervention services within the state

ODP-Office of Developmental Programs-a state office within the PA Department of Human Services that develops, monitors, and evaluates developmental disability services within the state

OLTL-Office of Long-Term Living

OMAP- Office of Medical Assistance Programs

OMHSAS-Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services-a state office within the PA Department of Human Services that develops, monitors and evaluates mental health and substance abuse services in partnerships with counties, consumers, families and other stakeholders.

OP- Outpatient-for Mental Health and/or Substance Use Disorder

OT- Occupational Therapy

OVR- Office of Vocational Rehabilitation-provides job testing and readiness for individuals with disabilities to obtain employment


PaTTAN- Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network-organization that provides technical assistance to staff and families receiving Early Intervention services

PCP- Primary Care Physician

PCPA-Pennsylvania Community Providers Association-provide trade organization.

PDE- Pennsylvania Department of Education

P/FDS-Person/Family Directed Support Waiver-developmental disabilities waiver with a financial cap.

PH-Physical Health

PH/BH-Physical Health/Behavioral Health

PH-MCO-Physical Health Managed Care Organization

PHP- Partial Hospitalization Program-intensive treatment several hours per day, several days per week.

PIN- Parent Involved Network-organization that matches families together based on disability for advocacy and support

PSS-Peer Support Services

PUNS-Prioritization of Urgency of Need-criteria to determine urgency of need for waiver services in the developmental disability system.  The three categories are Planning, Critical, and Emergency


QA and I-Quality Assurance and Improvement-ensure the delivery of quality services based on performance indicators

QM-Quality Management

QMRP-Qualified Mental Retardation Professional-individual that has experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities.  Their role is to certify an individual’s initial and continued eligibility to receive services.


RTF-Residential Treatment Facility-Facility where children/adolescents live temporarily to receive intensive treatment for severe emotional or behavioral disorders that cannot be managed in the community

RTF-A-Residential Treatment Facility- Adult- A highly structured therapeutic residential mental health treatment facility designed to serve persons 18 years of age or older who do not need hospitalization but who require mental health treatment and supervision on an ongoing 24-hour basis. The 6-bed Adult Residential Treatment facility is operated by Threshold Rehabilitation Services and is funded by Medicaid


SAM – Service Access & Management-serves as the base service unit for Berks County MH/DD, performs eligibility for services for developmental disabilities and early intervention services and provides case management for MH/DD/EI

SAMHSA- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-federal office

SAP- Student Assistance Program-program that assists schools by performing mental health and drug/alcohol assessments to students to ascertain treatment needs

SC-Supports Coordinator-case management in the developmental disabilities system

SC-Service Coordinator-case management in the Early Intervention system

SCA- Single County Authority-responsible for drug/alcohol programming within the counties.  See COCA.

SDoH-Social Determinants of Health-Conditions and circumstances that effect individuals’ health outcomes such as food insecurity, financial strain, employment, housing insecurity/homelessness, utilities, transportation, access to childcare, and clothing

SED-Serious Emotional Disturbance 

SMI-Serious Mental Illness

SIS-Supports Intensity Scale-metric to establish the level of support needed to safely support an individual with developmental disabilities in the community

SPMI-Serious and Persistent Mental Illness

SSDI- Supplemental Security Disability Income

SSI- Supplemental Security Income

SPTF-Suicide Prevention Task Force – a county task force aimed at addressing community factors associated with suicide risk and prevention through education, training, outreach, and service coordination.  


TCM-Targeted Case Management-case management billed to Medical Assistance, which includes blended case management (BCM), intensive case management (ICM), and resource coordination (RC)



VBP – Value-Based Purchasing —DHS’ initiative to transition providers from volume to value based payment models for the delivery of behavioral health services in order to align improved quality and efficiency of care by rewarding providers for their measured performance


WIC- Women, Infants, and Children-federal program that provides nutrition and formula for infants and young children