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Towards Semi-Structured Automatic ICD Coding via Tree-based Contrastive Learning

Chang Lu · Chandan Reddy · Ping Wang · Yue Ning

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #334
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[ Paper [ Poster [ OpenReview
Wed 13 Dec 3 p.m. PST — 5 p.m. PST


Automatic coding of International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a multi-label text categorization task that involves extracting disease or procedure codes from clinical notes. Despite the application of state-of-the-art natural language processing (NLP) techniques, there are still challenges including limited availability of data due to privacy constraints and the high variability of clinical notes caused by different writing habits of medical professionals and various pathological features of patients. In this work, we investigate the semi-structured nature of clinical notes and propose an automatic algorithm to segment them into sections. To address the variability issues in existing ICD coding models with limited data, we introduce a contrastive pre-training approach on sections using a soft multi-label similarity metric based on tree edit distance. Additionally, we design a masked section training strategy to enable ICD coding models to locate sections related to ICD codes. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that our proposed training strategies effectively enhance the performance of existing ICD coding methods.

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