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A Medical Billing Code Guide To Holiday-Related Injuries

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about ways to stay safe through the holidays, so that accidents and injuries don’t ruin your appreciation of the holiday season. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there are upwards of 15,000 injuries which occur every holiday season, just in the month of December.

Most of these injuries are related to accidents involving Christmas trees, holiday lights, and burns from candles. Physicians who have to document these injuries will have a little greater precision available to them this year in coding the specific injury, now that the ICD–10 code system has been adopted. This is far more specific than its predecessor ICD–9, and that means doctors, hospitals, and insurance firms will have to make use of these new codes whenever they’re trying to make claims on injuries and treatments.

There is a good and a bad side to this, with the good side being that it’s much more likely that you will have the perfect code associated with even an unusual injury. The bad side of that is that there are tons more codes to learn, and if you don’t know them all, you may put down the wrong code on a claim form and have it rejected. This of course, is anathema to hospitals and medical facilities, which are frequently waiting for revenues to come in for services rendered. Any kind of mistake made on a claim form is certain to cause a delay, and possibly a complete rejection of the claim.

Don’t be overwhelmed by ICD–10

There are a couple approaches you can take to using the new ICD–10 codes during the holiday season. If you have a dedicated person who commits a good deal of time to learning the new codes and using them on claim forms, you’ll probably manage pretty well. However, if you don’t have someone in your organization who can be dedicated to learning and understanding the new coding system, you may want to take an alternate approach.

There are a number of excellent medical billing services available, such as Medical Healthcare Solutins, Inc., which can handle your claim forms for you, using all the new codes from ICD–10. You can pretty much count on these experts to use the right codes for any specific injury that occurs around the holiday season.

Since they make it their business to know and understand any changes in the coding system, you can count on them getting it right on the forms. That takes much of the burden off you, so that you can concentrate on providing great medical care, and not worrying about submitting claim forms to insurance companies.

A sample of the new ICD-10 codes 

To show you how specific some of the codes are in the new ICD-10 system, some of them are shown below. While these injuries are not likely to occur every day of  the week, it’s comforting to know that when they do occur, there’s a precise code which can be used to designate the injury. Note the first code on the listing:

  • Z75.5 –        Holiday relief
  • T71.231D –  Asphyxiation due to being trapped in a discarded refrigerator, accidental
  • Z01.00 –      Encounter for examination of eyes and vision without abnormal findings
  • W53.21XA – Bitten by squirrel, initial encounter
  • W11.XXXA – Fall on or from ladder
  • W61.42XA – Struck by turkey
  • X02.8XXA –  Other exposure to controlled fire
  • Y92.253 –    Injured at the opera
  • S93.412A –  Sprain of ligament of left ankle, initial encounter
  • S39.92XS –  Unspecified injury of lower back
  • T33.09XA –  Superficial frostbite
  • V00.321S –  Fall from snow-skis
  • V80.1 – Injury as occupant of animal-drawn vehicle.
  • W55.32XA – Struck by other hoof stock, initial encounter
  • W00 – Fall due to ice and snow.
  • W29.1XXA – Contact with electric knife
  • W55.12XA – Struck by horse, initial encounter
  • W59.22XA – Struck by turtle
  • Y92.59 – Injury at shopping mall
  • Z62.891 –  Sibling rivalry

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued some recommendations for holiday safety, so that many of the new codes from the ICD-10 coding system don’t have to be used on claims. These warnings include making sure your kids are safe while you’re doing holiday shopping, keeping kids and pets away from candles, electrical devices, and holiday plants, being careful on store escalators, and keeping all decorations away from open flames and electrical devices. Stay safe, and avoid using all these wonderful new billing codes!

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