Whether or not to spell healthcare as one word or two words has been a hot topic among writers and editors. It is not an easy question to answer, as it depends on the style guide you follow.

The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook and many major news organizations and medical journals prefer to use healthcare as two words. Other writing guides suggest either spelling.

Definition

Health care is the medical services provided by doctors, nurses, therapists and dentists. It involves diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Primary healthcare is the earliest level of care that people usually access in the health system. It provides preventive care and treatment of common illnesses and injuries that can be easily managed at home or through outpatient facilities.

Secondary care is the next level of healthcare, providing emergency treatment and critical care for patients whose illnesses require more intense and elaborate measures. Entry into secondary care is by direct admission to a hospital or by referral from other providers.

The question of whether to use one word or two words when writing about healthcare has been a source of confusion for many writers and editors. The general consensus is to write healthcare as one word if you are writing a formal document and to use the two-word form for non-formal communication.

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Context

The medical field is a big one, and it’s not just the patient who needs to be pampered. The industry is also the domain of a myriad of service providers ranging from the smallest (telephony) to the largest (physicians) and most in between. Despite the industry’s size and complexity, healthcare does not lack for the big picture concepts that can be applied across the board to improve quality, safety and reduce costs. The challenge is in finding the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The elusive trifecta of the three major players – payers, providers and insurers – must coalesce around common goals for a winnable battle.

Hyphenation

Hyphens are a punctuation mark that joins words together or separates syllables of a single word. They can also be used to highlight or denote a special feature in text, such as the number of letters in a word or the amount of space between two words.

A hyphen is especially useful when you have a word that won’t fit in the end of a line. It tells readers that the rest of the word will continue on the next line.

It can also be used to make sense of compound words that combine a noun with a verb, adjective, or prefix. A good example of this is the word “healthcare.”

Hyphens can be tricky, but they are a must for any writer. Always consult a dictionary for the correct use of the hyphen. The right hyphen can make all the difference in a sentence or paragraph. For example, a hyphen is the only way to say a word like “moon” without sounding cryptic.

Usage

Healthcare is the industry or system of hospitals, clinics and pharmaceutical companies that provide medical services to people. It is an important part of the economy.

In some contexts, such as when writing for AP style or in headlines, healthcare is written as two words with no hyphen. However, in other contexts, such as when talking about health care reform, the term may be written as one word without losing its meaning.

The question of whether or not to write healthcare as one word or two words is a popular topic among writers and editors. It is a matter of personal preference and context.

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