By Joy Hicks
ICD-9 codes are used to describe a patient's diagnosis including symptoms, diseases or disorders. In a medical office, ICD-9 codes are used to establish medical necessity for patient visits as well as communicate to insurance companies the reason for a patient visit.
It is important for ICD-9 codes to be accurate for the quality of patient care, to prevent medical malpractice and for the medical office to receive proper insurance reimbursement. Proper ICD-9 coding requires anUs understanding of how ICD-9 codes are used, how to use the ICD-9 manual, and the importance accuracy in ICD-9 coding.
ICD-9 coding can be confusing enough, but can be more frustrating if you don't have a full understanding of how to use the ICD-9 Manual. The ICD-9 manual has three volumes. Volume 1 and 2 contain diagnostic information used for physician and hospital billing and are in the same manual; Volume 3 contains procedural information used for hospital billing only and is in a separate manual.
The ICD-9 coding manual uses special formatting to help you properly identify and use the correct codes. This formatting structure is referred to as conventions.