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Korean Journal of Epidemiology 1999;21(2): 142-150.
Incorrect Disease Coding in Medical Insurance Claims and the Effect of Official Intervention: Based on Medical Insurance Claims of 6 Notifiable Acute Communicable Diseases.
Yong Mun Park, Kwang Ho Meng, Euichul Shin, Kidong Park, Won Chul Lee, Sukil Kim, Jung Hee Jang
1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, TheCatholic University of Korea.
2Health Insurance Benefits Division, Ministry of Health &Welfare.
BACKGROUND: Because of their large size and excellent computerized records of illness and services rendered, the importance of national insurance program is getting much attentions from the public health researchers and the national and local health authorities. In reality, however, most health records from medical insurance program suffer very much from inaccurate disease coding, and therefore, they are practically in no use.
Pattern of incorrect disease coding of 6 Notifiable Acute Communicable Diseases that believed not to have been occurred in Korea lately was reviewed. The reasons of such incorrect codings in different level of medical institutions were studied. This study also attempted to see how an official intervention asking the medical institutions to correct their coding behavior works by comparing the frequencies of incorrect disease coding before and after the intervention.
Study results showed that more incorrect disease codings came from clinics than hospitals, and non-physician personnel in clinics and hospitals seemed to be responsible for most of the incorrect disease codings. Most frequent diseases coded incorrectly such as cholera and poliomyelitis were the ones that physicians and non-physician personnel in the clinics and hospitals had been familiar with for a long time period.
Even a simple official intervention asking the clinics and hospitals to correct their coding behavior was very effective : total number of incorrect disease codings before intervention (398 cases from 144 institutions) dramatically decreased (14 cases from 8 institutions) after intervention. Significant decrease in incorrect disease coding was found more in small institutions such as clinics and public health facilities than large institutions.
Keywords: Medical insurance claims; Inaccurate disease coding; Notifiable Acute Communicable Diseases; Official intervention


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