With the transition to ICD-10 reported to be absolutely for-real happening this time, healthcare professionals will have to move to the 68,000 codes in the new set, ready or not, on Oct. 1. But although most IT execs expect to launch on schedule—no more government delays—there still appears to be a mixed bag of provider readiness.
The American Medical Association and 99 medical specialty societies recently expressed concerns about the lack of a contingency plan in a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services acting administrator Andrew Slavitt, claiming that ICD-10 failures could result "in a significant, multi-billion dollar disruption for physicians and serious access-to-care issues for Medicare patients."
Although Sue Bowman, AHIMA's senior director for Coding, Policy and Compliance, told HealthLeaders Media that the end-to-end testing that CMS conducted in January demonstrates that the government is "definitely ready," physician groups say that recently-released end-to-end testing results showed that the claims acceptance rate would fall from 97% to 81% if ICD-10 was implemented today.
What no one is talking about—but should be—is how to avoid the kind of injuries that necessitate the use of an ICD-10 code. This is a public safety issue, one that should be addressed through a careful marketing campaign/scare tactics. The primary culpit? Animals. The world is full of them, and they are bent on destroying us, if you assume that there is a reason all of these ICD-10 codes exist. Ducks are striking people, macaws are biting us. Here is a handy guide of ICD-10 animals to avoid.
1.W.56.52 Struck by other fish
This is a real-life concern for people in Illinois, y'all—carp just fly up out of the river and smack people in the face. Also, with regards to those guys who go around sticking their hands into catfish holes to try to grab them: Stop doing that. Catfish have stingers and they're barely good to eat. Best to stay away from the whole undisclosed-variety-of-fish that necessitates this code.
2. W56.22 Struck by orca
We assume that anyone inputting this code will be quietly humming "Will You Be There" while they're doing it, and that would be a mistake, folks. Orcas will not be there for you, they are seal-killin' machines that only look cute and cuddly. Don't be this kid. It won't end well.
3. W61.1 Contact with macaw
At Healthcare Dive, we typically do whatever we can to avoid coming into contact with semi-domestic birds that bite, but unfortunately, others do not share our good sense. Addendum: Also worth avoiding Australia entirely, where hordes of wild cockatoos rove the countryside like marauding sky-dogs.
4. W55.21 Bitten by a cow
Look. Don't be fooled by their placid bovine expressions. Cattle are not to be messed with. If the cloven-hoof thing wasn't enough to convince you, there's an entire Wikihow dedicated to combating bovinophobia. Stay away, people. Stay away.
5. W59.21 Bitten by turtle
Another deceptively-safe looking animal. Turtles, not just the snapping kind, are savages. Tortoises also (W59.8). This kitten is a fool and its owner is obviously depraved and irresponsible.
6. W58.11 Bitten by crocodile
Okay people, look. Remember Lake Placid? They made an entire series of B-grade disaster movies (except for Betty White, Betty White is a Grade-A American treasure) as a kind of PSA about avoiding crocodiles. Same goes for alligators—W58.01, but isn't that splitting hairs? The point is, jump away. Run zig-zags, the crocodalligator can't follow you. FLEE.
*Unless you're this guy, in which case, cows, crocodiles, whatever. It's all fine.
7. W61.32 Pecked by chicken
Nope no. No no no. Obviously only one thing to do if you come into contact with one of these feather monsters, which is depart post haste. They don't even "bite," they "peck." The roosters have stabby spurs on their ankles to STAB YOU WITH. Not recommended.
8. V80.2 Occupant of animal-drawn vehicle injured in collision with pedestrian or animal
Okay, my coders and heroes, this isn't so much an "animal" to avoid as a "situation." Obviously, since this is 2015, we shouldn't have to have this ridiculous conversation about not allowing a living animal to drag you around in a death trap on wheels. N/A.
9. W53.29 Other contact with squirrel
Not safe. Squirrels are rodent ninjas, don't even try it. If you think you can avoid them by just like, looking the other way when you're walking past them on the sidewalk, you are so wrong, I don't even know where to begin. Proceed with caution, and a baseball bat.
10. W56.41 Bitten by shark
Did we miss one? Tweet it at us at @healthcaredive. Also, be sure to check out the 16 most absurd ICD-10 codes and our overall ICD-10 coverage.