New government rules will increase the number of medical billing codes to 68,000 from 14,000, creating additional complexity and expense for hospitals and health insurers, the Boston Globe reports.
Exactly how detailed are all these new medical descriptions?
Code W61.01XA: bitten by a parrot, initial encounter
Code V95.43: spacecraft collision injuring occupant.
Code V97.33XD: sucked into a jet engine, subsequent encounter...
Get ready for a paperwork meltdown at the medical office.
There are hundreds of other crazy codes in the new system, many that would make you shake your head. Search yourself if you don't believe me, at icd10data.com. The parrot bite is hardly novel. The new system has all sorts of codes for injuries at the beaks of birds, whether pecked by a turkey, snapped by a duck, or struck by a macaw (which, as far as I know, is a kind of parrot). And if you're unlucky enough to be in a spacecraft collision, your hospital better not pass it off as a run-of-the-mill outer orbit crash. For this they must select among specific subcodes to get paid for treating spacecraft injuries.
Remember the poor guy who got sucked into a jet engine? What could a 'subsequent encounter' possibly be?
The new medical code book also demands highly specific details about where the injury took place. It's not good enough that it happened at a cultural event. There are separate codes for injuries at museums, art galleries, music halls, theaters, and opera houses.