Pharmacy References and Medical Coding

Coding and Billing1 Comments

Coders often need to use a pharmaceutical reference while coding. Knowing the brand name of a prescription is sometimes not enough to report a code.  All drugs have three names, a chemical, a generic, and a brand name. To find the classification of a drug we recommend using a pharmaceutical reference. Some of our favorite drug references are:

Drugs.com
FDA
Health Central
Medlineplus
Rxlist.com

Our Professional Medical Coding and Billing program includes access to the 3M references, which includes the Clinical Pharmacology Drug Reference, another great resource! The medical industry changes quickly, and it is important to stay on top of the pharmaceutical changes. Using online references and resources that are updated on a regular basis is better than referencing older printed versions. 

Drug references often provide a description of the drug, type of classification, information regarding the dosage and administration routes, possible side-effects and interactions, and common conditions treated.

Medical billing and coding training includes details regarding the rules and guidelines of reporting drugs and chemicals. This includes the correct coding of use, abuse, and dependence of substances, how to report poisonings, long-term effects, adverse effects—you name it!


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  1. Sarah Abbott May 20, 2014

    Great information for a new coder! I have bookmarked those references and I know they will come in handy soon!


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