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What Is ICD-9-CM Coding System?

What Is ICD-9-CM Coding System?

What Is ICD-9-CM Coding System?

It almost sounds like the title to an Ed Wood film, but ICD-9 is actually a very efficient system of coding developed in a collaborative effort between the World Health Organization (WHO) and ten international medical centers, including one in the United States in an effort to streamline reporting of medical procedures.

The purpose of this coding system is to promote international compatibility in the collection, classification, processing and presentation of health related statistics. In the United States, this coding system takes on another purpose as the HIPAA-mandated coding system used in medical billing. ICD-9 Clinical Modification (CM) is the system currently used in the United States for medical billing claim purposes. Additionally, it includes 5-digit codes whereas the standard ICD-9 does not.

The ICD-9 system is updated an annual basis. New codes go into effect on October 1 of each year. Your medical billing partner is always aware of these changes and how they can affect your practice and usually receives the information long before the new coding goes into effect; so the year to year change over is seamless as far as your medical billing and reimbursements are concerned.

ICD-9-CM contains three “volumes” of information. Volume 1 contains the diagnosis codes that every provider needs for billing. Volume 2 is an alphabetical index of Volume 1. Volume 3 contains procedure codes, which are used for billing inpatient hospital stays.

For quite some time, an additional coding system named ICD-10-CM has been in the works for medical billing purposes, however it is not expected to become a HIPAA mandated coding system until at least 2007, and that date is subject to change.

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