10 most outlandish kinds of ICD-10 codes

By Michelle McNickle
01:31 PM

Although the debate over the delay of ICD-10 has been heated, if there’s one thing both sides can agree on, it’s the sometimes-hilarous specificity of some of the new ICD-10 codes.

That’s why we asked our readers, tweeters and LinkedIn users to weigh in on some of the most ridiculous codes they know of. They outlined 10 of the most outlandish types of ICD-10 codes. 

1. Those that happen up in the air. Both Brad Justus, account executive and blogger at Brad Justus Blog, and Twitter user @PeterNGilbert thought of code V9542XA: Spacecraft crash injuring occupant, initial encounter. “Predicting increase in backyard space flights after the NASA shut down?” added Justus. Twitter user @techydoc added code V96.00XS, which outlines an “unspecified balloon accident injuring occupant, sequela,” while Scott Lucado, a member of the LinkedIn Group ICD-10 Watch, added code X52: Prolonged stay in weightless environment. “I could actually use some weightlessness myself,” he said. 

2. Those addressing your favorite feline. Steve Sisko, blogger at ICD-10 Impact to Health Care Payers & Providers, commented on our LinkedIn ICD-10 Watch Group, pointing out code A281, or cat scratch disease (also known as cat scratch fever). “A la Ted Nugent – ‘I went to see the doctor and he gave me the cure,’” he added. 

3. Those concerning attacks from the sea. Twitter user @ABSystems tweeted @HITNewsTweet and pointed out code W5922XA: Struck by a turtle. Additionally, Justus looked to codes W5612XA: Struck by a sea lion, initial encounter, and W5609XA: Other contact with dolphin, initial encounter. “Are there a lot of swim-with-the-dolphin injuries?” he said. “Maybe this is to protect you from Dan Marino.”

4. Those that are a tad risqué. In our ICD-10 Watch LinkedIn Group, Sisko added code S1087XA: Other superficial bite of other specified part of neck, initial encounter. “Like a hickey?” he wrote. Justus mentioned code G4482, or a headache associated with sexual activity, and code S30867A: Insect bite (nonvenomous) of anus, initial encounter. “Luckily, there doesn’t appear to be any code for venomous,” he added. “I really hope this is because they don’t exist.”

[See also: ICD-10 involves an ‘enormous amount of complexity’.]

5. Those that involve unfortunate mishaps. For all those clumsy patients out there, Twitter user @techydoc thought of code W51.XXXA. “Accidental striking against or bumped into by another person, initial encounter,” he wrote. Justus added code V0001XD, or, ”Pedestrian on foot injured in collision with roller-skater, subsequent encounter.” 

6. Those that address when inanimate objects attack. Twitter user @techydoc pointed out one of the most famous ridiculous ICD-10 codes.  “And, of course, the one mentioned many places, V91.07XA – Burn due to water-skis on fire, initial encounter,” he tweeted. Sisko, in our ICD-10 Watch LinkedIn Group, added Z9989. “This is the very last code in the current ICD-10 list,” he wrote. “Dependence on other enabling machines and devices – like a CrackBerry or smartphone – it is?”

7. Those that take place in a strange location. Twitter user @SuccessEHS tweeted us code Y92250, or when a patient is injured in an art gallery. Justus added coded Y92029, or “unspecified place in mobile home as the place of occurrence of the external cause,” and code Y92146, or, “swimming pool of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause.” “Prisons have pools?” he added. “Must be white collar prisons where Bernie Madoff could drown from swimming too early after eating his club sandwich.”

8. Those that include livestock. Justus added three codes that those on a farm may run into: W6133XA, or being pecked by chicken, initial encounter; W5541XA, or being bitten by pig, initial encounter; and W5531XA, or being bitten by other hoof stock, initial encounter. 

[See also: 7 ways ICD-10 will affect CMS.]

9. Those that take place in nature. Despite its rarity, being struck by lightning does have its own code, Justus pointed out: "T7501XD, or, shock due to being struck by lightning, subsequent encounter,” he said. “I guess lightening can strike twice?”

10. Those that are just plain odd. Lastly, we heard about an array of ICD-10 codes that are, well, just plain weird. “E71510,” Sisko pointed out. “Zellweger syndrome – as in, Renee can’t decide which guy she should marry.” Twitter user @HaggbergConsult mentioned a code that referenced “…the adorable, heart-warming ‘extraction of products of conception,” he tweeted, while Lucado, in our ICD-10 Watch LinkedIn group, pointed out the most obscure code of them all. “Y34,” he said. “Unspecified event, undetermined intent. Well, that narrows it down.”

Have another code you think should have been included? Tweet us! @HITNewsTweet and @Michelle_writes For more on ICD-10, visit ICD10Watch.com.

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