Thursday, October 1, 2015

Burned by flaming water-skis? Bitten by a macaw? There’s a medical code for that. - The Washington Post

So you've been burned by flaming water skis? Attacked by an orca? Sucked into a jet engine? Try to remember the details for your doctor, because there's now a medical code for your condition.

The crazy-sounding diagnostic codes are part of a huge change set to take place Thursday in doctor's offices, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies and just about every part of the U.S. health system. If things go according to the long-delayed plan, patients shouldn't notice and care shouldn't be affected.

[The 10 most bizarre medical codes for your injuries]

But providers, who must use the codes describing patients' illness and injuries to get paid, are braced for problems: The sweeping revision, more than a decade in the making, expands the current nomenclature from about 14,000 codes to 68,000.