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What is an ICD-9 diagnostic code?

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Quick Answer

An ICD-9 diagnostic code is one of a large set of numerical codes used by doctors, hospitals and insurance companies to indicate patient diagnoses, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians. The acronym refers to the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision.

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Full Answer

The purpose of the ICD-9 diagnostic codes is to help track diseases through statistical analyses. The original intent of the codes was for use in epidemiology, the study of patterns, causes and effects of diseases. In the United States, the codes are also used for billing and reimbursement references, as noted by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

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