What is an ICD-9 code?

ICD-9 is not a new term for those who are familiar with medical coding about diseases and infections. Not only those but people who take interest in health information also heard this term in their routine. Here, in this article “what is an ICD-9 code?” we will describe this term as simple as possible, so can be understandable by all.

In actual, ICD-9 is an acronym which is used in medical field, it stands for International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, ninth revision. These codes classify diseases and a large variety of signs, symptoms, complaints, abnormal findings, social circumstances, and all external causes of injury or disease. Under this ICD-9 code system, every health condition has assigned a unique category and a code, which can be up to six characters long.

These codes covered the years between 1979 and 1998. Currently, an ICD-10 is also published, which is the tenth revision of original. It is the most current and comprehensive database of disease classifications.

Benefits of ICD-9 coding:

As all of us are well-aware that medical terminology is based on Latin and scientific terms, that can be easily misspelled or can be used in wrong context. It can be cumbersome to type into the billing system. The ICD-9 system streamlines the billing process to the medical staff and the insurance company too.

An ICD-9 code is nothing difficult but a numeric diagnostic code which is used by all insurance companies to verify whether to pay for a medical test or treatment or not. ICD-9 codes are used with CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) in medical billing, where CPT codes describe the test procedure, while ICD-9 codes show the patient’s medical condition.

The biggest advantage of ICD-9 coding also provides an internationally uniform system which is accepted by all doctors and insurance companies. Hence it helps to eliminate confusion.

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