Medical coding schemes

Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)

Published by the American Medical Association and updated annually, Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) is a collection of numeric codes. It is the most widely accepted medical nomenclature used for reporting and billing medical services and procedures, furnished by physicians and other health care professionals, under both public and private health insurance programs. Both print editions and licenses for downloading the files can be purchased from the AMA.

UMLS includes this coding scheme.

Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS)

These codes were established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 1978 for standardizing the identification of medical services, supplies, and equipment. There are two code sets: level I and level II. Level I includes the numeric CPT used to describe services provided by physicians and other health care professionals. Level II contains alphanumeric codes used to identify products, services, and supplies that are not covered in CPT codes or that were provided in a place other than a physician’s office. The annual and quarterly updates to the HCPCS can be downloaded from the website of the CMS. Additional information on HCPCS is found from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

This coding scheme is included in UMLS.

ICD- 10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems)

The ICD, published by the World Health Organization, is the international standard diagnostic classification code used to report and categorize diseases and other health problems. The most recent version of ICD-10 appeared in 2007 and can be accessed on the website of the World Health Organization.

ICD-9-CM and ICD-10 are included in UMLS.

Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC)

LOINC is a definitive standard used to identify clinical information in electronic reports. Universal names and ID codes are used to identify laboratory and clinical test results. This standard aims to facilitate the pooling and exchange of clinical care, research, and outcomes management. LOINC was developed by the Regenstrief Institute, which was associated with Indiana University during the 1990s. There is no charge for a user license for LOINC. The database can be downloaded here.