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What is Medical Coding?

Every Healthcare Provider that delivers a Service receives money for these services by filing a claim with patient’s Health Insurance Carrier. This is also referred as an encounter. An encounter is defined as “a face to face contact between a healthcare professional and a eligible beneficiary.”

Codes exist for all types of encounters, services, tests, treatments, and procedures provided in a Medical office, clinic or hospital. Even patient complaints such as headaches, upset Stomach, etc have codes which consist of a set of numbers and a combination of set of numbers. The Combination of these codes tells the payer what was wrong with patient and what service was performed. This makes it easier to handle these claims and identify the provider on a predetermined basis.

Reason for the Visit /Encounter – Diagnosis Code
Service rendered - Procedure Code
Coding Systems:

The two major coding systems are

1. International Classification of Diseases – Clinical Modification – 9th Revision (ICD-9-CM)
2. Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)

CPT and ICD-9-CM are not the only coding systems. Here are few more coding systems that are used to code a variety of coding information:
1. CDT-3 codes
2. ABC codes
3. SNOMED codes
4. NDC codes
5. Home Healthcare (saba) codes
6. DRG systems.

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