Term: Z Code

Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2013-10-04


A set of International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CA) codes that fall under the category Factors influencing health status and contact with health services. These codes do not assign a diagnosis due to illness or injury, but rather provide supplementary information as to the patient's status and/or reason for admittance to or remaining in the hospital. Examples include routine physical examinations, vaccinations or outcome of delivery. There are certain Z codes that are related to Alternate Level of Care (ALC) (although they are not limited to ALC designation and may be used for any patient.) Every patient designated ALC must have an ALC-related Z code in their hospital abstract to indicate the reason the patient was designated ALC. Coded ALC patients have one or more ALC-related Z codes to indicate the reason for ALC designation (Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), 2010).

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