We Can’t Stop Talking about these 2020 ICD-10 Codes

If you think you’re having a bad day, some of your patients may have had one worse—or at the least, pretty darn unusual. If you thought medical billing was challenging enough—even though it doesn’t have to be—try keeping a straight face while reading about these new crazy funny ICD-10 codes. 

Injury is no laughing matter, but sometimes an unfortunate mishap or misstep can lead to the creation of some funny-sounding ICD-10 codes. In the past, we’ve shared some outright spooky ICD-10 codes, but since then, 2020 has plunged us right into the stuff we thought only appeared in fiction.

It’s risky outside…

  • W60: Contact with non-venomous plant thorns and spines and sharp leaves
    Have you encouraged your patients to take up gardening as a safe, therapeutic activity?
  • V91.07XD: Burn due to water-skis on fire, subsequent encounter​
    If your patients are spending time on the water, what are the odds you’ll have to dig up this code?
  • V90.22XA: Drowning and submersion due to jumping from a burning fishing boat
    Could this have something to do with the burning water-skis?
  • W22.02: Walked into lamppost, subsequent encounter
    An incredibly specific, walking-while-texting, type of incident.
  • T75.01X: Shock from being struck by lightning
    We’ve been shocked by so many things in 2020, but this one is still pretty striking.

Struck by a… turtle?  

  • W61.62XD: Struck by duck, subsequent encounter
    Duck, duck, duck… you’re up doc.
  • W59.22XA: Struck by a turtle
    We have a lot of questions.
  • W55.49XD: Other contact with a pig
    You’ve read Animal Farm, right?
  • W55.29XA: Other contact with a cow, subsequent encounter
    We shared the risks of being struck by a cow – and other bizarre codes – a few years back but it seems people are still pushing the boundaries with these animals.

Avoid other people at all costs… 

  • Z63.1: Problems in relationship with in-laws
    Probably much under-utilized.
  • Y92.241: Library as the place of occurrence of the external cause
    Careful, or you might end up with more than a papercut.
  • Y35.419D: Legal intervention involving bayonet, unspecified person injured, subsequent encounter
    A bayonet may be an older weapon of choice, but it’s a pointed one at that.
  • L89.306: Pressure-induced deep tissue damage of unspecified buttock
    Could be a real pain in the…buttock.

Safe at Home? Maybe not… 

  • R46.0: Very low level of personal hygiene
    Take two showers and call me in the morning.
  • Y93.E2: Injury due to activity – laundry
    We’re going to assume this would be a lower back injury. Or maybe emotional trauma?
  • Y93.84: Activity, sleeping
    It’s no use hiding in bed. No place is safe.
  • R46.1: Bizarre personal appearance
    Hey Doc, we’re going to need more insight into this one.
  •  X52: Prolonged stay in a weightless environment
    For those training for the next SpaceX launch?

Need help with all these new codes?  

In total, 346 codes have been added in 2020. If you want a reprieve from billing nightmares and want to enhance your reimbursement time, consider a revenue cycle management service. You have more to worry about than making sure the exact right ICD-10 code has been selected. Let us do the coding for you so you focus on caring for your patients. 

To view all 346 ICD-10 codes added in 2020, click here


Maureen Bonatch MSN, RN, draws from years of experience in nursing administration, leadership, and psychiatric nursing to write healthcare content. Her work has appeared in numerous health system websites and healthcare journals. Her experience as a fiction author helps her craft engaging and creative content. Learn more about her freelance writing at CharmedType.com and her fiction books at MaureenBonatch.com

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