Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm a 10

Anyone who's in the healthcare industry is wholly aware of the upcoming changes from ICD-9 diagnosis codes to ICD-10 codes.  Today, a system is used that employs the use of roughly 18,000 codes. The new federally mandated version will expand the number to around 140,000 -- adding codes that describe precisely what bone was broken, or which artery is receiving a stent.

It will also have a code for recording that a patient's injury occurred in a chicken coop.

While the new coding system is proving to be a challenge for healthcare professionals, some companies are choosing to make lemonade with these coding shifts. Find a Code LLC, a medical-coding website operator, has created a series of YouTube videos with the tagline, "Yeah, there's a code for that." I feel that I'll be sharing these videos from time to time, so I won't barrage this post with all of them. As a taste of what's to come, here's a "Guess that Code" video.

Conifer Health Solutions has gone a different route with a series of quirky stickers, boasting "I'm a 10". I'm particularly fond of 'This Chick is ICD-10 Ready.'  Let me clarify that I'm fond of the tagline, not the associated ICD-10 code.

CMS official, Denise M. Buenning, compares ICD-10 to a phone book.  "All the numbers are in there," she says.  "Are you going to call all of the numbers? No. But the numbers you need are in there."  Oh, I'm sure this is the most interesting phone book people have seen it years.  In fact, it may just be the gift that keeps on giving.

Can you imagine the types of conversations you could have.  "What happened to you last night?"  "Dude, classic case of F10.99"  "Niiiice."