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Medical Coding

Earlier this week we looked at what medical billing is and how it is important in the medical system.  However, to understand medical billing completely, it is necessary to dive a little deeper into medical coding.  Medical coding takes health information from medical records and assigns appropriate codes.  Medical coding is a system to classify diagnoses, symptoms, medications, and procedures into a universal language.  The benefits of this, are that all medical facilities and insurance companies across the United States can communicate.  Also, because some patients can have complex health needs, coding shortens and simplifies medical terminology and descriptions.  This allows companies such as the Center for Disease Control to track large amount of health data and health businesses to evaluate the effectiveness of their treatment.

Medical coding follows three sets of codes: ICD, CPT and HCPCS.  These sets of codes represent different aspects of medical care.   Below are the definitions of these three codes.

  • ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases. These codes are used for the diagnosis of a patient’s symptoms.
  • CPT stands for Current Procedure Terminology and these codes are utilized for medical procedures.
  • HCPCS stands for Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System. These represent services or items not covered by the CPT codes.   These could include transportation or medical equipment.

Medical codes are complex and have many additional details to understanding their use.  However, for the purpose of gaining knowledge of the medical field, this is a brief overview.  Knowledge of medical coding helps us understand the medical system from start to finish.
Information was sourced from the following: https://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/learn-more-about-coding/
For additional coding information/resources, click here: https://www.ama-assn.org/practice-management/cpt-current-procedural-terminology

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