What are medical diagnosis codes?
Medical diagnosis codes are simple standard codes that are assigned to different clinical conditions, drug effects, clinical procedures and other patient treatments that help identify them easily. They are utilised to review patient diagnosis and also for funding purposes by various hospitals. In addition, these codes are used to perform statistical analysis of different clinical conditions across the globe.
The ICD Ninth Revision (ICD-9) refers to the revision that covered the years 1979 to 1998. The data collected for coding includes information listed on the death certificate – this means that the ICD-9 coding involves collection of mortality data. The main benefit of this system is that the code identifies the main cause of death, and recognises the associated conditions that led to death as well. These are sometimes called ‘underlying and non-underlying causes of death’, and in combination are referred to as ‘multiple causes of death’.
The ICD-9 CM is structured around the ICD-9. Unlike ICD-9 that is used for mortality statistics, ICD-9 CM is used for coding different clinical diagnoses and procedures within hospitals. It has within it tables of different diseases with specific codes assigned to them, and these are listed with the aid of an alphabetical index. The ICD-9 CM is regulated by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, both of which are United States government agencies. Once again, the ICD-9 CM is used for not just statistical analysis, but also for hospital funding purposes.