New diagnostic codes in effect for doctors, insurers

Posted at 4:31 PM, Oct 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-06 16:31:21-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  – Diagnostic codes, the codes doctors use to describe patient treatments, changed starting in October, and may change the way your medical bills appear.

There used to be about 14,000 diagnostic codes.  There are now 70,000.

This means your medical bills will be a lot more specific and you’ll be able to see exactly what you were charged for. But, health care providers warn that things may be a little bumpy at first and patients should prepare for some claim denials as providers and insurers get used to the more specific codes.

The coding system had been in effect since 1979, so health care experts say the change was needed.