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How Will Doctors Be Able To Classify An Orca Bite Without New Disease Codes?

Written By : William Teach
February 17, 2012

National Government Radio is very upset by this state of affairs

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(NPR) Poking fun at a complex new system for classification of diseases is surprisingly easy and enjoyable.

Yes, there are codes your doctor will be able to use someday to submit bills for treatment of a dolphin bite (W5601XA), being struck by a dolphin (W5602XA) or “other contact” with a dolphin (W5603XA). And that’s just the start.

Thousands of detailed codes form the backbone of a billing system that the federal government has been seeking to modernize for a while. The U.S., unlike other countries, is still using old codes.

Yes, it is fun. Click that link in the excerpt. It includes fun things like

  • Bitten by: Orca, sea lion, pig, and duck (among others)
  • Struck by: object falling from a merchant vessel, falling from a cave-in, volleyball, tennis racquet, and the always popular “being struck by orca”. That happened to me last week. While my water-skis were on fire
  • Other contact with a turtle
  • Pecked by chicken
  • Walked into lampost
  • Activity, knitting and crocheting
  • And the extreme danger of being burned by water skis on fire

How can my doctor properly treat me after being struck by an orca, which caused my burning water skis to burn me?

HHS wanted to update the classification, because it’s old, and doesn’t include pigs and orcas, and, those evil ducks

But it’s going to take a while longer before things change. The Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday it’s delaying implementation of the ICD-10, short for International Classification of Disease, 10th Revision.

Many doctors had raised a ruckus about the inconvenience and expense of switching to ICD-10 when so many other things are changing in health care.

Shockingly, doctors had a problem with this, because it was going to cost them an orca-load of money to implement the new classification system.

Even so, the American Medical Association, among others, has argued the regulatory burden imposed on doctors by ICD-10 is heavy and is inconsistent with President Obama’s executive order telling federal agencies to look for ways to reduce bureaucratic headaches.

Don’t worry, Kathy Sebelius will get around to dealing with you AMA folks in due time, once she gets around to mandating that insurance companies include coverage for orca bites for people who live in Montana.

And, yes, ICD-10 was mandated within Obamacare.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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