How to start learning ICD-10-CM codes

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

The World Health Organization did not design the ICD-10 code set to be memorized. They expected healthcare organizations to use computer systems to look up and assign codes.

But there is a structure to ICD-10 coding that can be learned. If you start with learning the first character of an ICD-10-CM code — which is always a letter — it becomes easier and more efficient to assign a diagnosis code.

Take a look at the letters that start ICD-10-CM codes and see how it's applied in these examples:

This is a weekly feature that I use to highlight practical tips on how to use and understand ICD-10-CM/PCS codes. Please let me know of any other sources that I can include.