What Are the Different Types of Medical Coding Classification Systems?


Are you intrigued by the world of medical coding, but feeling overwhelmed by the different types of codes and systems involved?
Below, we're breaking down the various types of medical codes, including CPT, ICD, and HCPCS, to help you understand the essentials of medical coding.

  1. CPT


    CPT codes, short for Current Procedural Terminology, serve as the universal language for describing medical procedures and services. These codes are published by the American Medical Association and play a crucial role in medical billing and claims processing.
    CPT codes are typically five-digit alphanumeric codes, although some may include four numbers and a letter. When healthcare providers perform services, they assign the appropriate CPT code to describe the service provided. These codes are then used on claim forms submitted to payers for reimbursement.

  2. ICD


    The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a comprehensive system used globally to classify diseases and other health-related conditions. Developed and maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO), the ICD coding system is the standard for categorizing mortality and morbidity statistics.

  3. HCPCS


    The Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) consists of two levels: Level I and Level II. HCPCS Level I codes are identical to CPT codes and are primarily used for billing and reporting medical procedures and services.
    HCPCS Level II codes, on the other hand, encompass a broader spectrum of healthcare products, supplies, and services that aren't typically covered by CPT codes. This level of coding is vital for specific reimbursement scenarios, such as billing Medicare and Medicaid patients.

Final Verdict


In the realm of medical coding, these three types of medical code systems—CPT, ICD, and HCPCS—serve as the fundamental building blocks for effective communication between healthcare providers and insurers. They play a pivotal role in ensuring accurate billing, tracking diseases, and maintaining patient records.