The Language of ICD-10

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The Language of ICD-10

Training clinicians in the language of ICD-10 is a must! Understanding the language of ICD-10 is the first step to be able to go down the right path to identify the appropriate diagnosis when coding. For more ICD-10 information go to

The following are examples of some of the ICD-10 terminology:

1. A place holder character "X"-must be used to make a code valid in certain ICD-10 codes.

2. A dash (-) at the end of an Alphabetical Index entry indicates that additional characters are required.

3. Sequela=Late Effects.

4. Laterality=Left, Right or Bilateral site of the body.

5. Sample of ICD-10 codes: Z48.812 After care following surgery of the circulatory system, E11.621Diabetic Ulcer of the foot, Z79.4 Insulin use.

*Always code following the coding rules using the Alpha Index and Tabular List!