ICD-10: Stranger things have happened. I think?


I’m 95% certain that neither my friends nor family know what I actually do at HME News. They know I’m an editor, so that’s something, but when I try to discuss the ins and outs of the HME industry, they look like they’re listening, but in my heart I know they’re going to ask me the same question again in three months: What do you do again? Suffice it to say, I don’t talk shop at home.

That’s why I was uncharacteristically excited when my brother-in-law, a dermatologist, casually mentioned making the switch to ICD-10 during dinner two weeks ago.

Since I speak to HME providers and stakeholders almost exclusively, I was eager to hear what the “other side” thought about the Oct. 1 implementation.

The conversation centered on the expansion from 13,000 codes to 68,000. While the idea is to capture more information, it’s a little excessive. For example, what used to be one code for psoriasis, is now seven codes.

Going into the conversation, I was already pretty familiar with the nuts and bolts of ICD-10, but what I didn’t know is that hidden within the extra 55,000 codes are some truly absurd diagnoses. My brother-in-law rattled a few off to us and we were beside ourselves. I never thought my family, of all families, would be making jokes about ICD-10 over pulled pork. 

I dug around this morning and here are some of the gems we laughed about that night, along with a few extras:


W5621XS Bitten by orca, sequel

V9126XD Fall due to collision between (nonpowered) inflatable craft and other watercraft or other object, subsequent encounter

W5813XA Crushed by crocodile, initial encounter

Y92146 Swimming-pool of prison as the place of occurrence of the external cause

W5929XD Other contact with turtle, subsequent encounter

V9107XA Burn due to water-skis on fire, initial encounter

W6132XA Struck by chicken, initial encounter

X060XXA Exposure to ignition of plastic jewelry, initial encounter

X52XXXA Prolonged stay in weightless environment, initial encounter

Y35001A Legal intervention involving unspecified firearm discharge, law enforcement official injured, initial encounter

X014XXA Hit by object due to uncontrolled fire, not in building or structure, initial encounter


Not to be outdone, I’ve come up with my own codes for the inevitable ICD-11 edition: 


1. 12Y415PP Occupational exposure to hats

2. 41Z214LP Extraterrestrial spacecraft or planet as the place of occurrence of the external cause

3. 88V009FR Vampire bite (nonvenomous) of right eyelid and periocular area, initial encounter

4. 72G232HJ Cruciatus Curse, cast by Voldemort, initial encounter

5. 68D183AA Burns sustained from fires of Mount Doom, initial encounter

6. 04W978RE Clawed by sphinx, outside city gates, subsequent encounter

7. 43N310NQ Stabbed by rooster, initial encounter

8. 93U409PK Contact with and (suspected) exposure to Medusa

9. 72I662UY Immunization not carried out because of aversion to pineapple

10. 01C153EE Genetic susceptibility to cooties

11. 85A634OG Hit or struck by amateur boxer, initial encounter

12. 21F587JV Unspecified effects from curse of the pharaohs, sequela

13. 01X334NJ Shock due to being struck by Helen Mirren, subsequent encounter

14. 19T118JS Activity, snake charming

15. 07J086PE Explosion due to welding in hyperbaric chamber, initial encounter