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3 Ultimate List on How Many Types of Medical Coding Are There and Their Applications

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Medical coding is the process of translating medical information into standardized codes that can be used for billing, reporting, and analysis. So, it is essential to ensure accurate and efficient reimbursement, compliance, and quality of care.

But did you know there are different types of medical coding, and each has its purpose and application? In this blog post, we will explore how many types of medical coding are there and how they are used in various healthcare settings.

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The Three Main Types of Medical Coding


If you were looking for how many types of medical coding are there, here is the answer. There are three types of medical coding: diagnostic coding, procedural coding, and pharmaceutical coding. Each type of coding uses a different system of codes to represent different aspects of medical care.

Diagnostic Coding

Diagnostic coding is the type of coding that assigns codes to diagnoses, signs, symptoms, and other clinical findings. The diagnosis-related group is called DRG modifiers codes that are used to describe the reason for a patient\’s visit, the condition or problem that the patient has, and the outcome or result of the treatment. 

Diagnostic codes are also used for epidemiological purposes, such as tracking the prevalence and incidence of diseases, identifying health trends, and monitoring public health issues.

Now the question where is ICD used? One of the most widely used systems of diagnostic codes is the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO). The ICD is updated periodically to reflect the latest advances in medicine and health. The current version is ICD-10, which has more than 70,000 codes.

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Procedural Coding

Procedural coding is the type of coding that assigns codes to medical procedures, services, and interventions. Procedural codes document what was done to or for the patient during a visit, such as tests, surgeries, therapies, or consultations. Procedural codes are also used for billing purposes, as they determine how much a provider will be paid for performing a certain service where a CPC is needed. 

Now, what does CPC stand for in medical coding? The answer to this is a certified professional coder, a gold standard for medical coding generally needed in the physician\’s office settings. Procedural codes also help to measure the quality and efficiency of care, as they indicate the type and level of service provided.

The most widely used system of procedural codes is the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), maintained by the American Medical Association (AMA). The CPT has more than 10,000 codes that cover various categories of medical services, such as evaluation and management, anesthesia, surgery, radiology, pathology, and medicine.

Pharmaceutical Coding

Pharmaceutical coding is the type of coding that assigns codes to drugs, medications, and biological products. Pharmaceutical codes identify the name, strength, dosage form, route of administration and manufacturer of a drug or product.

Pharmaceutical codes are also used for pharmacovigilance purposes, such as detecting adverse drug reactions, monitoring drug safety and efficacy, and preventing medication errors. 

The most widely used system of pharmaceutical codes is the National Drug Code (NDC), maintained by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The NDC has a 10-digit format that consists of three segments:

  • The labeler code (the manufacturer or distributor)
  • The product code (the specific drug or product)
  • The package code (the size and type of packaging)

Other Types of Medical Coding


In addition to the three main types of medical coding mentioned above, some other types are used for specific purposes or settings, which is what you are looking for. How many types of medical coding are there in the healthcare industry? Some examples are:

HCPCS Level II Codes

These alphanumeric codes supplement the CPT codes for certain items and services that CPT does not cover. These include durable medical equipment (DME), prosthetics, orthotics, supplies, drugs administered by injection or infusion, ambulance services, and some Medicare services.

ICD-10-PCS Codes

These alphanumeric codes are used for inpatient hospital procedures in the United States. They are more detailed and specific than CPT codes and cover various aspects of a procedure, such as body system, body part, root operation, approach, device, and qualifier.


These alphanumeric codes are used for clinical terminology in electronic health records (EHRs). They are more comprehensive and granular than ICD codes and cover various concepts such as anatomy, diseases, procedures, findings, substances, and organisms.


These alphanumeric codes are used for laboratory tests and clinical observations in EHRs. They cover various attributes such as analyte, method, specimen, scale, and units.

CDT Codes

These are alphanumeric codes that are used for dental procedures and services. They cover various categories such as diagnostic, preventive, restorative, endodontic, periodontic, prosthodontic, oral surgery, orthodontic, and adjunctive services.

Therefore, you know how many types of medical coding are there and their different types. Now, we are moving forward with the benefits of medical coding. 

Crack the Code to a Rewarding Career: Enroll in Our Medical Coding Course Now!

The Benefits of Medical Coding

Medical coding has multiple benefits for both providers and patients. Some of these benefits are:

Accurate and timely reimbursement: Medical coding ensures that providers get paid correctly and promptly for their services by reducing billing errors, denials, and audits.

Compliance and quality: Medical coding helps providers comply with various rules and regulations set by government agencies, insurance companies, and accreditation bodies. It also helps providers measure and improve their quality and performance by providing data and feedback on their outcomes and processes.

Communication and coordination: Medical coding facilitates communication and coordination among different healthcare professionals

and settings by providing a common language and standard for documenting and exchanging medical information.

Research and innovation: Medical coding supports research and innovation by providing data and insights on various aspects of healthcare, such as epidemiology, public health, clinical trials, health economics, and health informatics.

Crack the Code to a Rewarding Career: Enroll in Our Medical Coding Course Now!


Medical coding is a vital part of the healthcare industry that involves translating medical information into standardized codes. If you were looking to serve different purposes and applications, in the blog, you could find out what is CPC in medical coding. Medical coding has many benefits for providers and patients, such as accurate reimbursement, compliance, quality, communication, research, and innovation.

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