As if healthcare doesn’t have enough details to manage. Effective this past October 1, healthcare providers are required to use ICD-10 codes for billing private insurers and government programs. As with so many regulations, failing to use the correct code may result in a lower payment or no payment.
Well, on a positive note, at least you can take some comfort in knowing that you have a code for every possible way that you can be sick or injured. Here are some of the more interesting ones (John Lauerman. “70,000 Ways to Say You’re Sick” Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/12/15–10/18/15, pp. 20–22):
- Q17.5—Prominent ear.
- V97.33XA—Sucked into jet engine, initial encounter.
- R46.1—Bizarre personal appearance.
- Z89.419—Acquired absence of unspecified great toe.
- Z73.1—Type A behavior pattern.
- Z63.1—Problems in relationship with in-laws.
So the next time that you are worried about your healthcare being billed according to the correct code, don’t worry too much. I’m sure somewhere among those 70,000 codes, there’s just the right one for you. If not, maybe your doctor will let you make one up on the spot.