What Are ICD 9 Codes? Why You Need To Know The ICD-9 Code For Fibromyalgia?

By: Wyatt Redd

When you have fibromyalgia, you often find yourself learning a lot about the medical field if only because you spend so much time dealing with doctors and insurance companies. And that’s actually a good thing.

As unfair as it is, fibromyalgia will become one of the most defining elements of your life after a diagnosis. That’s the reality of living with such a horrible, disabling disease. And learning as much as you can about how diseases are treated can help you take charge of your health.

But with the medical field, there’s always more to know. For instance, have you ever heard of ICD-9 codes? Most people haven’t but there actually a pretty handy thing to know about when you’re dealing with a chronic condition. So what is ICD-9 code for fibromyalgia, and why is it important to know?

What Are ICD 9 Codes?

ICD stands for “international statistical classification,” and while that sounds like some high-level medical jargon, it’s actually a bit simpler than you think. See, ICD codes are used by international health care organizations to put diseases into categories so that they can be tracked, studied, and treated more easily.

So, we have the ICD, but what about the 9? Well, the 9 just reflects the fact that the current version of ICD codes is the 9th revision since the system was established.

And how do ICD-9 codes work? Well, every disease is given a simple code under the system. And each code starts with a number that doctors can use to tell what kind of disease it is. For instance, 001-139 are infectious or parasitic diseases. Diseases in the 300 range, on the other hand, concern the nervous system. And 800-900 range conditions are sudden accidents and poisoning.

So once a disease is grouped into its category, it then gets another number that not only identify the disease but actually specify which complications the disease is presenting with. In short, ICD-9 Codes let a doctor know exactly what they are dealing with after looking at just a few numbers.

What Is The ICD-9 Code For Fibromyalgia?

So, what is the ICD-9 code for fibromyalgia? It’s 729.1. Breaking that down, we see that the code starts with a 72, which is the code range for diseases of the muscular-skeletal system and connective tissue. Then the following 9 indicates that it is in the category of myalgia (or general muscle pain) and the .1 is finally what marks it out fibromyalgia.

Why Do You Need To Know The ICD-9 Code For Fibromyalgia?

But why does it matter what the ICD-9 code for fibromyalgia is? Well, the truth is that that little number is actually extremely important for a number of reasons.

For starters, the fact that fibromyalgia even has a number is a huge step forward in terms of finding a cure. People with fibromyalgia have long dealt with the perception that their disease isn’t real. And it wasn’t that long ago that many doctors refused to acknowledge that fibromyalgia was a unique condition. And since only officially recognized disorders get an ICD code, fibromyalgia did not have one until recently.

In fact, fibromyalgia was only officially recognized with its own ICD code in 2015. Until that time it had to share a designation with a broader category of myalgia diseases.

So getting an ICD code is really the first step in getting official recognition as a disease, and thus the first step in beginning the process of researching and developing a cure. The fact that the ICD-9 code for fibromyalgia even exists is a sign that the medical community is taking it seriously.

And the second reason that knowing the ICD-9 code for fibromyalgia is important is that the number is used frequently when it comes to billing. Any time you see a hospital bill or insurance statement related to your fibromyalgia, there’s a good chance that you’ll see 729.1 in quite a few places.

So with the insurance system such an opaque labyrinth, knowing what you’re looking at is a pretty useful thing. You can always dispute charges or push to have your condition recognized by a stubborn insurance company. But being able to refer to your condition by the billing code will make it a lot easier to navigate the insurance system.

But, the medical field is always changing, and in fact, the ICD-9 system is quickly being replaced with the ICD-10 system which allows for even more specialized codes. And what is the ICD-10 code for fibromyalgia? M79.7.

Confusing, isn’t it? But that’s just part of living with fibromyalgia, unfortunately. And that’s why it’s important to stay informed. But let us know, how does knowing the ICD codes help you? Tell us in the comments.

Via- Fibro Treating

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