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Medical Coding


Medical coding systems are fundamental to medical record keeping as well as to gathering and communicating public health statistics. They are used for a variety of purposes:

  • recording causes of death
  • coding diseases and procedures
  • physician billing and reimbursement


International Classification of Diseases (ICD)

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification, and presentation of mortality statistics. This includes providing a format for reporting causes of death on the death certificate.

Published under various titles since 1900, the ICD is a numeric classification system that arranges diseases and injuries into groups according to established criteria. It is copyrighted by the World Health Organization (WHO), which owns and publishes the classification. The codes are revised approximately every 10 years by the WHO. Annual updates are published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).