HMO

noun \ ˌāch-(ˌ)em-ˈō \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of HMO

: an organization that provides comprehensive health care to voluntarily enrolled individuals and families in a particular geographic area by member physicians with limited referral to outside specialists and that is financed by fixed periodic payments determined in advance called also health maintenance organization

First Known Use of hmo

1971


Financial Definition of HMO

HMO

What It Is

A health maintenance organization (HMO) is a health insurance provider with a network of contracted healthcare providers and facilities. Subscribers pay a fee for access to services within the HMO's network.

How It Works

An HMO develops its network by contracting primary care physicians (for example, internists and family doctors), specialists (for example, cardiologists and ophthalmologists), and clinical facilities (for example, hospitals and specialty clinics). The HMO agrees to pay these parties specific levels of compensation for a range of services they provide to its subscribers.

In return for a monthly fee, or premium, subscribers are granted access to providers inside the network at no additional cost. Subscribers may access services outside the network with the HMO's approval but may need to pay for part of the services.

Why It Matters

Companies often offer healthcare benefits to employees via HMOs. HMOs are some of the most popular managed care plans that employers provide to their employees.  The premium structure of an HMO reduces healthcare costs for families and, at the same time, benefits network providers by supplying them with more patients.


HMO Defined for English Language Learners

HMO

noun

Definition of HMO for English Language Learners

  • : an organization that provides health care to people who make regular payments to it and who agree to use the doctors, hospitals, etc., that belong to the organization


Medical Dictionary

HMO

noun \ ˌā-(ˌ)chem-ˈō \

medical Definition of HMO

plural HMOs
: an organization that provides comprehensive health care to voluntarily enrolled individuals and families in a particular geographic area by member physicians with limited referral to outside specialists and that is financed by fixed periodic payments determined in advance called also health maintenance organization; compare ppo

Learn More about hmo


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up HMO? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of, relating to, or being an oracle

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!