What is an ICD Code?
The system known as an ICD-Code began in the 1850s as the International List of Causes of Death. When the World Health Organization was created in 1948, it adopted responsibility for the code, publishing its sixth edition while adding causes of morbidity to the list. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, normally shortened to simply ICD, is a list of diseases classified by signs, symptoms, and causes. This system allows any health condition to be classified with a code of up to six digits. Having an international standardized coding system for diseases gives doctors or statisticians a resource for more accurate analysis of population health, the incidence and prevalence of various diseases, as well as the storage and retrieval of vital medical information.
The Current ICD Code
Currently, the ICD in its tenth edition, with an eleventh set to be completed by 2015. Work first began on the ICD-10 in 1983 and ended in 1992 with the new code implemented the following year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began using the updated code in 1999; however, some U.S. medical organizations like Medicare and Medicaid services will continue to use the ICD-9 until 2013.
The United States ICD-Code System
There is a U.S. specific version of the ICD-10, referred to as the ICD-10-CM. This clinical modification of the international code expands each designation from three digits to six, allowing for continued growth as medical discoveries are made, as well as greater distinction and accuracy. This raises the number of possible codes from 13,600 to approximately 69,000.
What is the ICD Code for Mesothelioma?
Though the tenth version has replaced the ninth in many areas of the world, the ICD-9-CM is still in use in some parts of the United States. Under that system, malignant pleural mesothelioma (chest) is assigned the code 163, peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen) is assigned 158, and tumors of the heart such as pericardial mesothelioma are assigned 164. In the ICD-10’s second chapter, mesothelioma falls under the broad category of malignant neoplasms, specifically those of the mesothelial and soft tissue. The mesothelial tissue is that which surrounds and protects vital organs, allowing them to maneuver and operate properly. Overall malignant mesothelioma has the designation of C45, with its types classified as follows:
- Pleural mesothelioma — C45.0
- Peritoneal mesothelioma — C45.1
- Pericardial mesothelioma — C45.2
- Mesothelioma of other sites — C45.7
- Mesothelioma, unspecified — C45.9