Short for "Usual, Customary, and Reasonable."


The University HealthSystem Consortium Services CorporationExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) (UHCSC) is an alliance of more than 80 academic health centers. UHCSC competitively bids for products and services in behalf of its members. Once a contract is awarded, members can order for their hospital without going through a local bidding process.


NLM'sExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions)Unified Medical Language SystemExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) (UMLS) project
“develops and distributes multi-purpose, electronic ‘Knowledge Sources’ and associated lexical programs. System developers can use the UMLS products to enhance their applications — in systems focused on patient data, digital libraries, Web and bibliographic retrieval, natural language processing, and decision support. Researchers will find the UMLS products useful in investigating knowledge representation and retrieval questions.”

Unit Dose

The number of units per dose of a specified drug. For example, using a 325mg (strength) aspirin (agent) tablet (form, implied route of administration), usually 2 tablets (unit dose) are taken at one time.

Unit Dose System

This system is one in which medications are contained in single unit packages and are dispensed in as ready-to-administer a form (in containers designated for individual patients) as possible. For most medications, no more than a 24-hour supply of doses is delivered or available in the patient care area at any time.

Unit of Issue

The unit label (e.g., Each, Pair, Package) used for an inventory item issued to a patient (e.g., during surgery). See also Unit Dose and SKU.

Unit of Order

The unit label used for when ordering an inventory items from a vendor (e.g., Box, Gross, Container). See also Packaging.

Unit Price

The price of a unit, irrespective of package size.

Universal Physician Identification Number

A number that identifies individual physicians. Not all physicians have a UPIN, only those who are authorized to serve Medicare patients have one assigned by HCFA. Despite its potential, this ID is not used as a universal physician identification number. Today (ca. 1997), most hospitals have their own physician identification system; in fact, newly merged IHNs may not even have any such a system (i.e., doctors that practice at more than one facility are identified by different IDs, even when these facilities are part of the same IHN).

Unofficial Inventory

Unofficial inventory are those items within a department which have no formal inventory control and are expensed and not an asset of the facility. See Official Inventory, also Non-Stock Item and Non-System Item.

Unrelated Third Party

It refers to a corporate entity or individual who acts on its own behalf and in its own interest and to carry out a purpose other than that for which the individual accessed the consumer health web site.


Universal Product Code. A unique identifier for retail products, including non-prescription drugs. Drugs without an assigned NDC are identified by their UPC.


See Universal Physician Identification Number.


United States Adopted Name. See also, USP, USP-NF, and National Formulary.


US PharmacopeiaExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions). The USP’s Dictionary of USAN and International Drug NamesExternal Page Policy 
(click to see policy and instructions) contains information on nonproprietary drugs, including US adopted names, official drug names for the USP and National Formulary, previously used official names, international and nonproprietary names, British Approved Names, Japanese Approved Names, and trade names.


United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary. USP establishes standards for the manufacture and distribution of drugs and related products in the United States. These standards are published in the USP-NF. Current information on USP-NF drug standards is essential for all scientists and healthcare professionals who research, develop, compound, manufacture, monitor, or dispense drug products.
USP-NF standards are legally recognized by various state and federal statutes. Once the FDA approves a new drug product, USP establishes public standards for that product. Once official, those USP standards are enforceable by the FDA.

Usual, Customary and Reasonable

Usually seen abbreviated as UCR. This is the amount that an insurance plan will pay for a doctor's visit or procedure. Generally, this is the average amount charged for services and supplies which are medically necessary, recommended by a physician, or otherwise required for treatment.
See Reasonable and Customary Fees.


A process to determine if one of the following is true,
  • Is care medically necessary and appropriate? (including frequency of service and duration)
  • Are there lower-cost forms of care available? are they efficacious?
  • Do patients improve as a result of treatment?

    Utilization Review

    See Utilization and Drug Utilization Review (DUR).