The Most Bizarre ICD-10 Code Awards

Remember the time a patient walked in with that gruesome killer whale bite on his leg?  Even worse, do you recall what a pain it was to bill their insurance? Well, probably not, but just in case this ever does happen to you, CMS has created an ICD-10 code for it: W5621XA – Bitten by orca, initial encounter.

While the ICD-10 transition is no laughing matter, the federal government, with their exceptional ability to over-document everything, has created a series of diagnosis codes that had us cracking up here at PYP.

So, we’re going to take advantage of the fact that it’s the end of the workweek and have a little fun with CMS. Without further adieu, we present you with the Awards for the Most Bizarre ICD-10 codes.

In the Animal category:

Bronze:  Bitten by a turtle – W5921XS

Silver: Bitten by sea lion – W5611XD

Gold: Struck by macaw – W6112XA (Pesky, talking birds)

In the Water Sports category:

Bronze: Hit or struck by falling object due to accident to canoe or kayak – V9135XA

Silver: Civilian watercraft involved in water transport accident with military watercraft – V94810

Gold: Burn due to water-skis on fire – V9107XA (Evel Knievel is reborn!)

In the Strange Places category:

Bronze: Hurt at the library – Y92241

Silver: Hurt at swimming pool of prison as the place of occurrence – Y92146

Gold: Hurt at the opera – Y92253 (The fat lady can get a tad cranky when she doesn’t get to sing.)

In the Air/Space Category:

Bronze: Prolonged stay in weightless environment – X52

Silver: Unspecified balloon accident injuring occupant – V9600XS

Gold: Spacecraft crash injuring occupant – V9542XA (Eyes to the skies, people.)

In the Just Plain Weird Category:

Bronze: Hurt walking into a lamppost – W2202XA

Silver: Stabbed while crocheting – Y93D1

Gold: Unspecified event, undetermined intent – Y34 (Well, that clarifies things…)

Now back to the serious stuff. If you’re looking for some useful information on the upcoming ICD-10 transition, check out our ICD-10 Resource Guide for Physicians


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