Category Archives: the-sky-is-falling

A Fresh Look at Medical Coding

I stumbled across a book entitled “The Endangered Medical Record: Ensuring Its Integrity in the Age of Informatics”. As well as a short pdf file white paper summary of the book. In it, Vergil Slee et al. proceeds to trash the current state of diagnosis coding. Interestingly, a short biography reveals that Dr. Slee had a formative role in the development and implementation of coding schemes since the 1950’s. You will get the gist of the book from the white paper. It makes me wonder if the HIPAA requirements to use ICD-9, CPT, and the X12N coding sets may be counterproductive. His solution to the problem is intriguing. Excerpt: ‘…Powerful forces — reimbursement, regulations, fears, technology — distort the information going into the medical record. The effects of public policies and other factors which tend to bias the clinical content of medical records should be carefully considered and brought to national attention for correction…’