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The ad is confusing. That’s the point. “Your CEO wants a PPO. COO an HMO. CFO to IPO. You need a good TPA,” announces the piece, created for Entrust, a third-party benefits administration company in Houston.

The clever spoof underlines a real problem. The benefits administration world is awash in alphabet soup, with acronyms to denote everything from medical products and procedures to laws and regulations. As long as everyone in a conversation knows what an acronym means, the shorthand referrals are harmless ways to save a little time.

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