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How to decipher the doctor's diagnosis on the medical certificate
Everyone has already received a yellow certificate from the doctor. The certificate of incapacity for work is issued in triplicate: one for the health insurance company, one for the employer and one for your own documents. But what exactly does the health insurance certificate tell us about us and, above all, who does it tell us what? The duration of the sick leave is obvious, but if you look closely at the copies for the health insurance company and for yourself, you can see that the diagnosis has been closed. This code is called IDC-10, which means "International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Release 10". This code key provides information about the exact diagnosis.
Most laypeople have no use for this code. You can find it in the middle of the document under the category “AU diagnosis (s) (IDC-10)”. Doctors, dentists and psychologists enter the IDC-10 code here in order to be able to document clinical pictures in a uniform manner. The system was introduced by the World Health Organization (WHO) to enable uniform diagnoses worldwide. From January 1st, 2018 an updated version will apply in Germany: "ICD-10-GM". The "GM" stands for "German Modification". The German Institute for Medical Documentation and Information (DIMDI) explains in detail how to decode this code.
The diagnosis is of no concern to the employer
The IDC-10 code is not specified on the version for the employer. This would reveal too much about the worker and could lead to possible disadvantages at work. The employer has no legal right to know why an employee is on sick leave.
How is the IDC-10-GM code broken down?
A code example is "M16.9 B". The letter represents a group of diseases. In this case, "M" stands for diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue. The number behind the letter encodes the more precise classification of the disease group. "16" here means coxarthrosis. The number after the point indicates a subcategory related to the clinical picture. The 9 in the example stands for "unspecified". The "B" is a voluntary additional information and means "both sides". So this is an unspecified bilateral coxarthrosis in the hip joints.
Common diseases at a glance
You can see a lot from the first letter. For example, "F" stands for mental illnesses and behavioral disorders, "I" for diseases of the circulatory system, "J" for diseases of the respiratory system, "K" for diseases of the digestive system, "O" for pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium. Here are a few more common codes:
- A09.9 Bacterial intestinal infection, unspecified
- B34 viral disease
- F32 Depressive episode
- G43 migraines
- I10 hypertension
- J06 acute upper respiratory infection
- J11 flu, viruses not detected
- J45 asthma
- M54 back pain
- R11 nausea and vomiting
- R42 dizziness and dream
- R50 fever of unknown cause
- R51 headache
Further code keys can be found in the list of DIMDI. (vb)