ICD Medical Coding – An Introduction

medical codesICD medical coding services has been the standard for efficient medical billing, medical information exchanges, and medical statistical collaboration in the field of health and medicine.

An acronym for International Classification of Diseases, ICD is a type of comprehensive medical classification that is officially published by the World Health Organization. It traces its roots back to as early as the 1990s wherein the first official version of ICD – erstwhile known as The International List of Causes of Death – was released. To date, ICD has achieved its tenth revision and is now commonly known as ICD-10.

ICD medical coding for dummies

Medical coding is basically defined as the classification and transformation of documented descriptions of health diseases, medical diagnoses, procedures, and other medical narratives into a set of standard pre-defined codes. The codes are characterized by numeric or alphanumeric characters and are specifically designated for a single medical classification. Medical coding is pretty essential in the field of healthcare simply because it allows for easy collaboration and easy communication of medical data (diagnosis, procedures, etc.) within a single medical institution or the entire world. This proves to be very helpful in analyzing trends and gathering statistics of healthcare across the globe.

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Medical Coding for the Medical Professional

Aside from the huge importance of proper medical coding to the local and global landscape of healthcare, it also plays a vital role in the compensation of doctors and other healthcare providers. Insurance companies base their reimbursement process to two medical coding systems: ICD medical coding and CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) coding. ICD primarily concerns the disease (e.g. diabetes), while CPT concerns the procedure/s done to aid the disease (e.g. ECG). In order for the doctor to get full compensation for the services he has rendered, he needs to properly code both CPT and ICD to the highest level of specificity possible. That can be a daunting task considering there are hundreds of thousands of medical descriptions out there in the ICD publication.