Anyone who has ever taken a trip to the doctor’s office or hospital has likely seen medical codes. The numbers are used to assign charges to a medical diagnosis, service or procedure. Sometimes a medical procedure or service is not properly coded and therefore charged incorrectly. But you may not be aware that there are different types of medical codes in use today.
Here is a look at 3 types of coding:
- ICD-10 – “ICD-10” stands for International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition. The system went into effect in the U.S. in 2015. ICD-10 was an upgrade from ICD-9, offering more codes and classifications for updated conditions and diagnoses. ICD-10 codes are owned by the World Health Organization and adopted by governments around the world. In the U.S., there are two types of ICD-10 systems: ICD-10-CM (Clinical Modification) is used for diagnosis and ICD-10-PCS (Procedure Coding System) is used for inpatient hospital procedures. The adoption of ICD-10 took quite a while, but the system is in widespread use across the world and covers the vast majority of diagnoses and procedures.
- CPT – Stands for “Current Procedural Terminology,” these are the standard codes you find in use in most medical settings today. The codes are updated annually and are broken into three categories:
- Category 1 – Five digit codes with descriptions that correspond to a service or procedure.
- Category 2 – Alphanumeric tracking codes used for execution measurement.
- Category 3 – Provisional codes for new and developing technology, procedures, and services.
- HCPCS Level II – HCPS stands for “Healthcare Common Procedural Coding System” and is based on CPT. HCPCS Level II codes are generally used for supplies and products that are not directly related to a physician, for example, ambulance services, drugs, etc.
Understanding medical codes can be complex, but the field is rapidly growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health technology careers are expected to grow by 15% through 2024, much faster than average.
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