Relax: ICD-10 Is Going to Be Great!

Thu, May 14, 2015 --


Ready for a quick break from final ICD-10 preparations?

Ah, ICD-10-CM codes. So many of them, so little time! And here you are, working your fingers to the bone getting ready for ICD-10 to finally go live this October. Maybe you’re even signing up with CMS to perform end to end ICD-10 testing. Come on, take a break — let’s savor some of the more oddball, funny codes together.

Are you worried that your old office computer won’t be up to the task of coding in ICD-10? Show your supervisors this, and maybe they’ll get the point:

old cimputer

R46.4 (Slowness and poor responsiveness).

Just don’t let on that this code refers to cognition and emotional states — of humans. Let them think it’s about technology.

One of the greatest features of ICD-10-CM is the ability to accurately and precisely code where a patient’s injury occurred, not just for the sake of laterality, like right or left foot, but also … for the location where the injury occurred. Who knew that the type of home mattered? Think about whether your documentation is up to the job of capturing

Y92.024 (Driveway of mobile home as the place of occurrence of the external cause).


And you know those shoes with little wheels in the heels that kids use to scoot around the grocery store? Next time one of your patients presents to the office after falling while using them, you can use

V00.151A (Fall from heelies, initial encounter).


No doubt after paying for a few doctor visits for falls from heelies, those children might have a future encounter coded as

Z62.1 (Parental overprotection).


With ICD-10-CM, we have a way to code for almost every possible thing that might hit someone. The W21.- category covers all manner of sports equipment, including footballs, soccer balls, baseballs, and unspecified balls, plus bats, racquets, clubs, and ice hockey sticks.
But what if you’re instead hit — by a turtle? No problem, because there’s a code for that:

stuck by turtle

W59.22- (Struck by turtle).

But be careful when you code this! The subcategory W59.2- (Contact with turtles) carries an Excludes1 note warning that you can never report patient contact with tortoises at the same time that you report contact with turtles. Nope, for tortoise contact, you’ve got to use one of the W59.8- codes for contact with other nonvenomous reptiles.

Clearly, to use these codes, providers better know their testudines. Stop giggling — that’s just the family name for the order of reptiles that includes turtles and tortoises.


Speaking of water-loving species like turtles, let’s not forget the water transport accidents group, which includes

V91.07XA (Burn due to water-skis on fire, initial encounter).

Why do we need this code, you ask? Try searching the Internet for incidences of water skiing accidents that include burns from flaming skis, and all you’ll find is other articles about funny ICD-10 codes. But think about it: the ICD-9 equivalent is the very general E831.9 (Accident to watercraft causing other injury to unspecified person). The reason we can’t find statistics on burns due to flaming water skis is because we don’t have a way to code for it in ICD-9-CM! Imagine the research that public health policy professionals can produce on this important topic, all thanks to this code.


And speaking of professionals, a lot of coders and other healthcare workers are highly organized, ambitious, dedicated, and driven to do the best possible job all the time. If this description fits you, you may be happy to know that you now have your very own code:

Z73.1 (Type A behavior pattern).

Just don’t let your Z73.1 drive you to

Z73.0 (Burn-out).

This type of burnout, by the way, is not related to the flaming water skis.


Never Fear: All your hard work will soon pay off!

Hey, it’s all good! Pretty soon all those years of preparation will come to fruition, and everyone will be happily coding in ICD-10-CM.

Y93.45 (Activity, cheerleading)

What, you say you’re not 100 percent ready for ICD-10-CM? No worries — you’re at Supercoder, powered by coding experts! You got this! Check out some of our new products designed to help your ICD-10-CM implementation succeed.
Now’s the time!


Susan taught health information and healthcare documentation at the community college level for more than 20 years. She has a special love for medical language and terminology. She is passionate about ensuring accurate patient healthcare documentation through education. She has a master's degree in healthcare administration, is a certified healthcare documentation specialist, and serves as immediate past president for the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).

Leave a Reply