Healthcare News & Insights

Hear ye, hear ye: ICD-10 is finally here

For years and years your facility has been preparing for this day, and it’s finally here! Sure, it’s been delayed a few times, but no more! Today is the day of reckoning – the absolute final ICD-10 deadline! 

icd-10Of course your facility does have a little cushion: CMS will reimburse wrongly coded claims, as long as the incorrect code is in the same broad family as the correct code for one year after the deadline.

This is a nice bone to be thrown, since there are around 70,000 codes in ICD-10 as opposed to the 13,000 codes that were in ICD-9. Not to mention the fact that instead of being five characters long, the codes can be anywhere from three to seven characters long.

There’s been a lot of stress leading up to this day, and there will probably be even more. It’s said that hospitals and practices will experience a drop in revenue while everyone is getting up to speed coding with ICD-10.

But the greater specificity the ICD-10 codes offer when it comes to reporting diagnoses is supposed to smooth out the billing process (really?), as well as assist in population health and cost reduction across healthcare delivery systems.

Reduce stress

Another thing the greater specificity will do for you: Give you a good laugh.

That’s right!

There are some codes in ICD-10 that will make you go “Huh?” and make you laugh.

Here are some of the best ones:

  • V91.07XA – Burn due to water-skis on fire, initial encounter (This has to be one of my favorites, because don’t you just think how and why? Maybe, people were trying to get on that “Jackass” show or in one of the movies and were using water skis to ski down a street while they were on fire?)
  • V95.41XA – Spacecraft crash injuring occupant, initial encounter (FYI, if it happens again V95.41XD is for a subsequent encounter!)
  • V97.33XA – Sucked into jet engine, initial encounter (Ouch! And as if being sucked into a jet engine the first time wasn’t bad enough, if it happens again, you have V97.33XD for a subsequent encounter. And yes, we know “subsequent encounter” means with a physician, not a jet engine, but where’s the humor in that?)
  • Y92.146 – Swimming-pool of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause (I didn’t even know prisons had pools!)
  • W56.22XA – Struck by orca (Now you know this one had to be requested by people who work at SeaWorld.)
  • W56.32X – Struck by other marine mammal (Just in case it wasn’t an orca that struck you.)
  • Z62.1 – Parental overprotection (Can you say helicopter parents?)
  • Z63.1 – Problems in relationship with in-laws (So what’s new?)

So as you can see, ICD-10 will cover you for just about anything.

In fact, if it walks, swims, slithers or flies and it bites you, there’s a code for it. Don’t believe me. Just click here and search “bitten by”. You’ll find everything from a chicken to a squirrel to a sea lion to a pig to a parrot to a macaw, to a … You get the picture.

So hopefully you’ve been able to de-stress and laugh a little, because you know what they say – laughter is the best medicine!

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