CHAPTER 2

Diagnosis Coding: A Number for Every Disease

What Is a Diagnosis?

A diagnosis is the identification of a disease from its symptoms. Obviously, the next question is, “What is a symptom?” You are the best judge of that, because a symptom is a perceptible change in your body or its functions that can indicate disease. Although it is possible to be sick or have a disease and have no symptoms, a symptom is a hint that there may be a problem and that you should seek professional help.

When you have a sore throat, that is a symptom. If the sore throat lasts more than a day or two, you will probably visit your doctor to get his or her opinion about the cause of the sore throat. Based on your symptom, the sore throat, and an exam of your physical ...

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