by Christine Woolstenhulme, QCC, QMCS, CPC, CMRS
June 17th, 2015
ICD-10-PCS has a seven character alphanumeric code structure. Each character contains up to 34 possible values. Each value represents a specific option for the general character definition (e.g., stomach is one of the values for the body part character). The ten digits 0-9 and the 24 letters A-H,J-N and P-Z may be used in each character. The letters O and I are not used in order to avoid confusion with the digits 0 and 1.
Procedures are divided into sections that identify the general type of procedure (e.g., medical and surgical, obstetrics, imaging). The first character of the procedure code always specifies the section. The sections are shown in table 1
Table 1: ICD-10-PCS Sections
0 Medical and Surgical
4 Measurement and Monitoring
5 Extracorporeal Assistance and Performance
6 Extracorporeal Therapies
8 Other Procedures
C Nuclear Medicine
D Radiation Oncology
F Physical Rehabilitation and Diagnostic Audiology
G Mental Health
H Substance Abuse Treatment
The second through seventh characters mean the same thing within each section, but may mean different things in other sections. In all sections, the third character specifies the general type of procedure performed (e.g., resection, transfusion, fluoroscopy), while the other characters give additional information such as the body part and approach. In ICD-10-PCS, the term “procedure” refers to the complete specification of the seven characters.