The Significance of the ICD 9 Code for COPD Exacerbation
Are you suffering from emphysema, chronic bronchitis or bronchiectasis, collectively referred to as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)? Have you experienced shortness of breath, increased anxiety, chronic cough and changes in skin color? If so, you may have a condition referred to as COPD exacerbation. The ICD 9 code for COPD exacerbation is 491.21 but what does the ICD 9 code mean exactly and how is this relevant to your condition?
ICD stands for International Statistical Classifications of Diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) develops, monitors and copyrights these codes. The ICD codes are alphanumeric designations to diagnosis, symptoms and cause of deaths of human beings. It was introduced in 1893 by a doctor named Jacques Bertillion, and was initially named the Bertillon Classification of Causes of Death. Five years later, the US adopted the code and referred to it as ICD-1 because it was the first version of the code.
Through the years, the code lists have been updated as the medical community develops and names new diagnoses. Updates may be yearly or after several years, depending on the extensiveness of new diagnoses. In 1949, for instance, mental disorders were added to the code list ICD-6.
basically means this is the ninth update of the list, and this will be replaced on October 2014 with a new version to be called ICD-10.
But don’t think that the ICD code has no bearing on a patient like yourself. The truth is, it can help you get better especially if you consult different physicians.
ICD codes guide medical professionals all over the world in understanding the diagnosis of their patients. Thus, if you have COPD exacerbation your medical records will have a 491.21 mark on it. If you travel to anothe
r country or state, the medical practitioner you will be consulting will know right away that you have COPD exacerbation upon seeing your record.
If you are diagnosed with exacerbation of chronic COPD, then the ICD 9 code will help your doctor determine a treatment plan for you. It will enable your healthcare providers to determine the most appropriate medications to prescribe.
The ICD also helps medical authorities in recording the numb
er of people who have died because of a certain ailment. This is particularly true for certain diseases that are considered highly contagious, or those that affect the health of the general public like cancer and HIV. In effect, the ICD serves as a tool for authorities to determine the prevalence of an ailment and even in deciding how much money or research is needed to prevent such diseases from spreading.
Insurance companies also need the ICD 9 code for reimbursement. Your healthcare provider will have to accurately enter the ICD code for COPD exacerbation in your records so you can receive health insurance reimbursement. The bottom line is that the ICD 9 code plays an important role in your medical records, and consequently, your life.