Struck by a turtle lately?

No? Then surely you’ve been smacked by a raccoon, chicken … or at the very least, a nonvenomous lizard.

TurtlesWell, regardless, starting in 2014, your doctor will be prepared when animals, lightning, or even unpowered watercraft strike, burn, bite or injure you in just about any other way.

The U.S. health care system is ramping up to implement a massive new coding system called ICD-10. It’s a bland name for a system capable of coding thousands of colorful injuries. A full 68,000 to be exact, as opposed to the 13,000 under the current ICD-9. The codes are intended to help health care providers keep track of what happened to you, how much it should cost and what follow-up care you need.

Take these, straight from ICD-10:

Hurt at the opera: Y92253

Stabbed while crocheting: Y93D1

Walked into a lamppost: W2202XA

Walked into a lamppost, subsequent encounter: W2202XD

Submersion due to falling or jumping from crushed water skis: V9037XA

Even with the new descriptive phrases at their disposal, many health care providers strongly oppose the coding system. In December, the American Medical Association, 42 state medical organizations and 40 medical specialty groups, wrote a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to cancel implementation of the ICD-10 code set.

Not only do they say it will “create significant burdens on the practice of medicine with no direct benefit to individual patient care,” they also say ICD-10 will distract from other upcoming health information initiatives, including major ones tied to the health care reform law.

[The above taken from an NPR News Hour interview on March 4, 2013.]

Briefly reviewing the 263 pages of ICD-10 devoted to the classification of mental and behavioral disorders, we counted roughly 500 codes. There were codes for PTSD, insomnia, abuse of vitamins or herbal remedies, reading disorder, spelling disorder, arithmetical skills disorder, sibling rivalry, drug withdrawal symptoms, too little sex, too much sex, mental disorders due to tobacco and caffeine indulgence, and of course the catch-all “mental disorder, not otherwise specified.”

We’ve been alerting you about the DSM-5. This may be even worse.

Find Out! Fight Back!

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