A never ending topic in the medical billing community (seriously, will it ever end?). Rumor has it that on October 1, 2015, ICD-9 will go the way of the dinosaur and be replaced by its smarter, more evolved cousin, ICD-10. Which, in the case of the T-Rex, was a giant, flightless, meat-eating bird called a Diatryma. Go figure.
With the switch less than three short months away, the scramble is on to make sure millions of organizations across the country implement the correct processes to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. Currently, there are 14,000 ICD-9 codes available. How many ICD-10 codes? 68,000. Giant bird for the win!
With nearly five times as many codes in ICD-10, it’s important to consider the reasons behind such a massive code set. Yes, yes, we all know that the new ICD-10 codes are designed to provide a more exact diagnosis. However, it might be possible that enough bizarre occurrences which no one really knew how to code for kept repeating themselves in emergency rooms. Thus, ICD-10 was born.
Don’t believe me? As proof, I offer you this compelling evidence from the following REAL, honest-to-goodness ICD-10 codes:
Code V91.07XD – Burn due to water-skis on fire, subsequent encounter.
Water puts out fires, in general, so this begs the assumption that it must have been some type of grease or chemical fire that set your skis ablaze. In which case, smothering with a beach towel would be appropriate.
Code Z63.1 – Problems in relationship with in-laws.
Never mind. This one seems pretty legit.
Code W220.2XD – Walked into lamppost, subsequent encounter.
What is the code for drunk?
Code W55.29XA – Other contact with cow, subsequent encounter.
There are also codes for “kicked by cow” and “bitten by cow” so, yes. It is safe to conclude a cow sat on this person.
Code Y93.D – Activities involved arts and handcrafts.
Technically, Y93.D is not a billable ICD-10 diagnosis code, and therefore, it cannot be used to indicate a medical diagnosis. However, there are FOUR codes below Y93.D that describe this diagnosis in greater detail. I can only assume they are as follows:
1. Activities involved arts and handcrafts, scissors through leg
2. Activities involved arts and handcrafts, hot glue in eyeball
3. Activities involved arts and handcrafts, allergic reaction to glitter
4. Activities involved arts and handcrafts, excessive paper cuts
Code V00.01XD – Pedestrian on foot injured in collision with roller-skater, subsequent encounter.
Looking at you, Venice Beach. Seriously, anyone over the age of 12 should not be on roller skates. What if it was a child, you ask? Not possible. Children are born with the innate ability to skate their little legs off in perfect form. Plus, during a collision, they just bounce off adults.
Code Y92.146 – Swimming-pool of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause.
You read that right. We all know prison is dangerous. Water aerobics class injuries are not exactly what comes to mind.
Code T71.231D – Asphyxiation due to being trapped in a (discarded) refrigerator, accidental, subsequent encounter.
Apparently, this has happened enough to require a classification. Refer back to “Code Z63.1 - Problems in relationship with in-laws” for more information.
Code W61.12XA – Struck by macaw, initial encounter.
Seen Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds? Terrifying. I’d run to the nearest hospital, too.
Code V97.33XD – Sucked into jet engine, subsequent encounter.
Wow. Just, wow. Can we be friends? Anyone who gets sucked into a jet engine and lives to tell the tale is a winner in my book.
Code V95.43XS – Spacecraft collision injuring occupant, sequela.
Obviously, this only applies to injured humans. Alien lifeforms have a whole separate set of codes. Cue The Twilight Zone theme song.
Code Y34 – Unspecified event, undetermined intent.
Got it. You’re too embarrassed to tell your physician you got trapped in the refrigerator again…
So there you have it. May the odds be ever in your favor!