by Dan Muse

10 amusing ICD-10 codes doctors just might need this Thanksgiving

Nov 25, 2015
Electronic Health RecordsHealthcare IndustryTechnology Industry

The updated healthcare coding system is hardly something to laugh about. You certainly won't hear ICD-10 codes recited by Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Fallon, but these 10 diagnostics codes might have clinicians in stitches this Thanksgiving.

holiday mishaps
Credit: Thinkstock

If you work in healthcare, you know all about — or should know about — the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 codes. If you’re fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with ICD-10, here’s a little background: As of last month, all healthcare providers had to start using the ICD-10 diagnostic code set to file claims with Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers.

[ Related: Health IT glossary ]

You might think moving from ICD-9 to ICD-10 isn’t be a big deal. After all, it’s just one little numerical step, right? Wrong. The change represents an exponential increase, because ICD-9 has about a fifth of the codes of ICD-10. Due to complexities, doctors and other healthcare pros had to be trained to select the correct codes, and healthcare organizations had to do extensive internal and external testing.

[ Related: Hospitals flip the ICD-10 switch, adding 68,000 ways to tell you’re sick ]

Now less than two months later, many doctors are likely still struggling with the classifications. There really isn’t much that’s funny about ICD-10, but PatientKeeper, a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of healthcare applications for physicians, found a little holiday humor in the classifications. In its infographic below, the company identifies 10 actual diagnosis codes that are surprisingly appropriate for potential Thanksgiving Day mishaps.

  • Pecked by a turkey? There’s an ICD-10 code for that.
  • Injured in a touch football game? There’s a code for that, too.
  • Crushed, pushed or stepped on by aggressive Black Friday shoppers? You guessed it. An appropriate ICD-10 code exists.

Check out all 10 holiday-appropriate ICD-10 classifications below. And, speaking for physicians and emergency room workers everywhere, be careful out there.

patientkeeper thanksgiving

(Click for larger image.)