South Korea has a public and single-payer system for healthcare services based on fee-for-service payments. The National Health Insurance (NHI) reimbursement claim codes are used by all healthcare providers for reimbursement. This study mapped NHI reimbursement claim codes for therapeutic and surgical procedures to the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms (SNOMED-CT) to facilitate semantic interoperability and data reuse for research. The Source codes for mapping were 2,500 reimbursement claim codes for therapeutic and surgical procedures such as surgery, endoscopic procedures, and interventional radiology. The target terminology for mapping was the ‘Procedure’ hierarchy of the international edition of SNOMED-CT released in July 2019. We translated Korean terms into English, clarified their meaning, extracted characteristics of the source codes, and mapped them to pre-coordinated concepts. If a source concept was not mapped to a pre-coordinated concept, we mapped it to a post-coordinated expression. The mapping results were validated internally using dual independent mapping and group discussion by trained terminologists, and by two physicians with experience of SNOMED-CT mapping. Out of 2,500 source codes, 1,298 (51.9%) codes were mapped to pre-coordinated concepts, and 1,202 (48.1%) codes were mapped to post-coordinated expressions. The mapping of the NHI reimbursement claim codes for therapeutic and surgical procedures to SNOMED-CT is expected to support clinical research by facilitating the utilization of health insurance claim data.
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