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International classification of health codes ā€“ ICH 1

Posted Aug 04 2009 6:04pm

iStock_000007804869XSmall.jpg Have you ever wondered why we have the International Classification of Disease codes, or ICD for short, but we don’t have an International Classification of Health? This is a major short-coming! Really! How are we to understand the significance genomic contributions towards our health, unless we have a standardized why to describe it? This goes back to my prior discussion, what is Health? It can’t just be the absence of disease!

The ICD codes have been around for a while and we are on the 9th iteration. Mostly they are used for billing purposes for insurance companies to approve or deny coverage. However, during my experiences with billing, I found it frustrating to try to classify a patient as ‘Healthy’. The only way I was able to get reimbursed from the insurance company was if I found something wrong with them. This is a fundamentally conflicting philosophy if my mission was to keep them well!

Ergo, I propose that we concentrate our efforts for a structured vocabulary to take Health into consideration and I therefore declare the start of the ICH codes, International Classification of Health, version 1 – ICH-1. Anyone want to help me?

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