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Medical Coding: an Application of Health Informatics By: Denise Miller

Content • • • • • • •

History Purpose Format of ICD-9-CM Methods to find the ICD-9-CM codes ICD-10-CM Preview Difference between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM. Summary

History • In the early 17th century, John Graunt began the statistical study of health and diseases. • Later, in 1837, William Farr thought of getting a unique classification for causes of diseases. • The Bertillon Classification of Causes of Death was developed by Jacques Bertillon in 1893 which then was implemented in 1898. • In 1938, the name was then changed to International Classification of Diseases (ICD). • The 9th edition of this was brought into implementation in 1978

Purpose • Providing Morbidity Statistics to the World Health Organization (WHO). • Verify the need of patient care/treatment. • Provide statistics helpful to analyze healthcare costs.

Format of ICD-9-CM • The codes are broken into 3 digit categories. The first three digits determine the category. • The fourth digit specifies the sub category. • The Fifth digit is used for sub classification and specifies the type of treatment or diagnosis required.

Methods to Find ICD-9-CM Codes • Good research habits are necessary. • 5 basic steps to identify the correct code. - Correct identification of main term or condition. - Use the index to locate the problem. - Review information with all instructions. - Select the correct code from tabular list. - Use correct sequence while mentioning multiple codes.

ICD-10-CM Preview • A new version of codes was implemented by WHO in 1992. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) stated that this version was not detailed enough to be used at a national level. • Soon the advanced version ICD-10-CM will be brought into practice from October 1, 2014. This is a more detailed coding system that contains a codes that are more specific.

Difference between ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM ICD-9-CM




Alphanumeric Index

Alphanumeric Index



Contains 17 chapters

Contains 22 chapters

Numerical Coding System

Alphanumerical Coding System

4th and 5th digit used for specificity

6th and 7th digit used for specificity

Category for unspecified codes

Unspecified codes are rarely used

Summary • We have thus seen why Medical Coding is brought into practice. • The Presentation also speaks about the different stages it has gone through. • The upcoming transition in the coding system also proves that the health care industry is growing and there are many more improvements we can expect.

Medical coding