History Of Medical Coding

The history of medical coding is related to the London Bill of Mortality, England back in the 1600s. Medical coding may be defined as a task of alphanumerical characters to diagnose various diseases and their methods of treatments. For classification of death a standard coding system was developed in the last years of the 19th century.

The Bertillon classification for causes of death was elaborated by Jacque Bertillon in 1893. At beginning of 20th century this system was accepted by 26 countries. This system has its own importance at that time. A group of people used to discuss about expanding possibilities of humanity. This process was helpful to search for causes of any disease.

The Bertillon system was put into practice. A single global classification for mortality and disease was necessary in 20th century due to globalization. Therefore, by the middle of twentieth century, the World Health Organization accepted this single coding system. This organization has given a particular name to that goal, named International classification of diseases, injuries and causes of death (ICD).

This system must be updated after 10 years, and the WHO has authority to make any amendments. The association has decided to adopt latest 10th update named ICD-10 in the USA. This will be accepted and modified in 2013. There are many other codes, which are updated on regularly each year. This system was initially modified by AMA (American Medical Association) in 1966, and named as current procedure codes.

These are small sets of medical codes, and have been evolved into a single complex system. There is also developed a three levels code system, and adopted in 1970. This is named as health care common procedure coding system (HCPCS), and it has been modified after CPT.

It has three levels among which level one is CPT as an original. Level two includes non-physician services like patient transportation and ambulances alphanumerical codes. Similarly, Level three has been developed by local codes. It was eliminated in 2003 to adopt relevant universal codes. Nowadays, this coding system has been so much expanded that the medical experts are also part of these codes.