The official U.S. launch of ICD-10 has come and gone. Some folks were happy to see this finally happen, while others were pretty angry that it was not further delayed. Love it or hate it, I think there is one thing everyone can agree on -- among the 68,000+ billing codes in ICD-10, there are some pretty weird (and hilarious) things to be found.
In this article, we’re going to have a bit of fun by looking at what I consider to be the top ten oddest and most hilarious billing codes in ICD-10.
10. Y93.84 – Injured while sleeping
I don’t know what some people are doing in their sleep, but whatever it is must be dangerous if it results in injury. Seriously… where are people sleeping? On cliffs? In reality, I imagine most uses of this code probably involve accidents with bunk beds. However, it’s still pretty funny.
9. Y92.253 – Injured at an Opera House
This code was either included for work-related accidents for opera house stage crews… or somebody on the ICD-10 development team had been to see Phantom of the Opera way too many times.
8. W22.02 – Walked into lamppost
To be perfectly honest, I don’t find this one all that unusual (or even surprising). Just look around these days and you will see scores of people who walk while texting, paying no attention to what’s in front of them. Is it really that hard to believe collisions with various objects will occur? I would imagine that smacking one’s face into a lamppost is but one of the many perils of distracted walking.
7. W61.43 – Pecked by a turkey
Why did the turkey cross the road? Apparently, so he could avenge the deaths of his fallen Thanksgiving kin by unleashing some sharp-beaked justice on humankind. (Oh, were you expecting that joke to be about a chicken? Believe it or not, there’s a code for that as well—W61.33)
6. Z63.1 – Problems in relationship with in-laws
Y’know… For those times when your patients’ relationships with their in-laws become so problematic they actually have to seek out medical attention.
5. Y92.241 – Injury at library
My imagination ran absolutely amuck with this one. For what could this code possibly be intended? Just in case the local book club suddenly goes off the rails? Or perhaps for when the normally mild mannered librarian finally goes ballistic on someone for having too many unpaid overdue fees? Of course, in any environment there’s always going to be that one guy who finds a way.
4. V97.33 – Sucked into jet engine
I would definitely count being sucked into a jet engine among the top five least pleasant things to experience. Luckily, this can be easily avoided by never walking in front of a jet engine. Believe it or not, there are people who have actually survived being sucked into a jet engine and spit out the other side (though I would imagine it’s a pretty short list). Just in case someone is unlucky (or unobservant) enough to have it happen again, there’s also a code for subsequent encounters (V97.33XD).
3. X52 – Prolonged stay in a weightless environment
This code would be weird enough by itself. However, its oddness is further compounded by the fact that X51-X58 are categorized under “accidental exposure.” How, pray tell, would someone accidentally end up having a prolonged stay in a zero gravity environment? Did somebody accidentally board the wrong spacecraft, forcing them to endure an involuntary 6 month stint at the international space station?
The code also specifies “Weightlessness in spacecraft (or simulator),” which just makes it all the weirder. I’m pretty sure that if someone gets into a spacecraft or simulator for any length of time, that he/she would have done so on purpose. This left me to ponder what situation might cause a person to be accidentally/involuntarily exposed to a prolonged stay in a zero gravity environment, and I could only come to one conclusion -- alien abduction.
So I guess the good news is that, if you’re ever abducted by aliens and forced to endure a prolonged state of weightlessness, your primary care physician will be able to properly code it when the extraterrestrials are finally done experimenting on you.
2. V95.43 – Spacecraft collision injuring occupant
And if by some odd happenstance the spaceship of your alien abductors collides with a different spacecraft, causing you to be injured, ICD-10 still has you covered.
(Then again, maybe they just figure most people will be able to fly around in spaceships someday?)
1. V91.07 – Burn due to water skis on fire
Water skis… on fire. This code has left me with so many questions (not to mention some pretty insane mental images). The most obvious question is how, exactly, would water skis (assumedly while being worn/used) even catch on fire? Was someone doing a stunt that involved water skiing over fire? Or maybe someone experienced a catastrophic failure while testing an experimental pair of rocket powered water skis? I mean, I just cannot think of a scenario in which water skis would (or even could) accidentally catch on fire.
And there you have it, folks… the top ten most hilarious ICD-10 codes.
ICD-10… it’s here… it’s weird… get used to it.