Nurse practitioners and nurses see some crazy things that would make most people vomit, faint, or run away. But these experiences do not phase nurse practitioners (we’ve seen it all). In order to be a healthcare provider, you have to have some kind of sense of humor.
It helps to keep happiness during the stress of the day. Humor brings joy when all nurse practitioners see is hard ship. Afterall, laughter is the best medicine!
The Nurse Practitioner Charting School has compiled a list of 38 funny ICD-10 codes that are actual codes!
What is an ICD-10 code
ICD-10 codes are part of the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), which is a standardized system used for classifying and coding diseases, symptoms, abnormal findings, and other health-related conditions. These codes are used by healthcare professionals, including nurse practitioners, medical coders, and researchers, to accurately document and communicate diagnoses and procedures.
ICD-10 codes are alphanumeric codes that provide specific details about a patient’s condition. They are structured in a hierarchical manner, with different levels of specificity. The codes consist of three to seven characters, where each character represents a specific category or aspect of the condition being described.
Here’s a breakdown of the general structure of an ICD-10 code:
- Character 1: Represents the chapter of the ICD-10 classification. There are 21 chapters, each representing a different category of diseases or conditions.
- Characters 2 and 3: Indicate the category within a chapter. These characters narrow down the classification to a specific disease or condition group.
- Characters 4 to 6: Provide further details about the etiology, anatomical site, severity, or other relevant factors related to the condition.
- Character 7: Is an extension character used for laterality, if applicable, to specify which side of the body is affected.
For example, the code I10 represents “Essential (primary) hypertension,” where:
- “I” represents the chapter “Diseases of the circulatory system.”
- “10” represents the category “Hypertensive diseases.”
How ICD-10 codes are developed
ICD-10 codes are created and maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO). The process of developing and updating the codes involves input from healthcare experts, medical societies, and government agencies from around the world.
These experts contribute to the development of new codes, revisions of existing codes, and ensuring the system remains up to date with advancements in medical knowledge and technology.
The creation of new codes or modifications to existing codes is typically driven by the need to capture and accurately describe emerging diseases, conditions, treatments, and diagnostic methods. This process involves research, clinical studies, consultation with experts, and evaluation of existing evidence.
The proposed changes are reviewed, discussed, and approved through a collaborative process involving various committees and organizations before they are officially included in the ICD-10 classification.
Because the ICD-10 codes are created by the WHO, the codes are relevant throughout the whole world. So even though The United States has very few exotic birds, there is still an ICD 10 code for being injured by an exotic bird (W61.12 Struck by a Macaw).
What makes funny ICD-10 codes
These codes were developed from some concern or real life incident that sparked the need to create a specific code. So codes such as: Y92.146 Swimming-pool of prison as place of occurrence of the external cause, X52 Prolonged stay in weightless environment, or W37.0X Explosion of bicycle tire most likely actually happened.
There are ICD-10 codes that are very specific such as: W51.XX Accidental striking against or bumped into another person, V94.810 Civilian watercraft involved in water transport accident with military watercraft, or V80.1 Animal rider or occupant of animal-drawn vehicle injured in collision with pedestrian or animal.
And other codes that are not as specific but still funny ICD-10 codes. For example, S10.87 Other superficial bite of other specified part of the neck (sounds like a hickey…. or a vampire bite).
But there are also ICD-10 codes that have you wanting to hear the background story: V91.07 Burn due to water skis on fire (sounds like a redneck’s adventure), V95.42 Forced landing of spacecraft, injuring occupant, or V00.01 Pedestrian on foot injured in collision with roller-skater.
There may also be some ICD-10 codes that are used in certain geographical areas more than others. For example, I work in a rural hospital. We experience numerous livestock related injuries a year.
For example, ICD-10 code: W55.22 Struck by cow is not uncommon for us. Injuries by a cow may be severe enough to be a medical emergency (severe head, chest, abdominal trauma). But I have never used (and probably never will) the code: W56.12 Struck by sea lion.
Needless to say, there are some funny ICD-10 codes that are actually valid to use. The Nurse Practitioner Charting School has compiled a list for your viewing pleasure!
Funny ICD-10 codes
In no particular order, here are the top 38 funny ICD-10 codes:
V91.07 Burn due to water skis on fire
V95.42 Forced landing of spacecraft, injuring occupant
V96.0 Balloon accident injury occupant
W55.41 Bitten by pig
W59.22 Struck by turtle
X52 Prolonged stay in weightless environment
W22.02 Walked into a lamppost
Y93.D1 Activity, knitting/crocheting
Y92.250 Art Gallery as the place of occurrence of the external cause
W37.0X Explosion of bicycle tire
S10.87 Other superficial bite of other specified part of the neck
W55.22 Struck by cow
T75.01 Shock due to being struck by lightning
W56.52 Struck by other fish
W17.3 Fall into empty swimming pool
V00.211 Fall from ice skates
Z62.891 Sibling rivalry
V94.810 Civilian watercraft involved in water transport accident with military watercraft
W61.42 Struck by turkey
W61.43 Pecked by a turkey
V80.1 Animal rider or occupant of animal-drawn vehicle injured in collision with pedestrian or animal
Z99.89 Dependence on enabling machine and devices
W56.01 Bitten by dolphin
Y92.146 Swimming-pool of prison as place of occurrence of the external cause
W61.3 Contact with chicken
W61.01 Bitten by parrot
V00.01 Pedestrian on foot injured in collision with roller-skater
W55.5 Contact with a racoon
Y93.J1 Activity, playing piano
R46.1 Bizarre personal appearance
W61.62 Struck by a duck
Z63.1 Problems in relationship with in-laws
Y93.I1 Activity, roller coaster riding
W51.XX Accidental striking against or bumped into another person
V97.21 Parachutists entangled in object
W56.12 Struck by sea lion
Z59.2 Discord with neighbors, lodgers, landlord
W61.12 Struck by a Macaw
Have you every used any of these codes from this list of funny ICD-10 codes?
More about billing and coding as nurse practitioners
While looking at the list of funny ICD-10 codes brings humor to our busy day as nurse practitioner, there is actually a lot more to billing and coding in healthcare!
The Nurse Practitioner Charting School has put together The Basics of Billing and Coding Course to educate and empower nurse practitioners!
This instant access, online course offers 75 minutes of video training (broken down into easy to consume lessons) teaching you the basics of coding in the outpatient, inpatient/obs, ER, and nursing facility setting!
Lesson topics include:
- Coding and Billing Terminology: Discover the lingo and process of coding and billing patient encounters.
- Introduction to Coding: Learn the things you didn’t learn in nurse practitioner school!
- Coding by Medical Decision Making: A complete breakdown of how to select each evaluation and management CPT® code using medical decision making for outpatient, inpatient/obs, ER, and nursing facility patient visits.
- Coding by Time and Prolonged Services: This lesson covers the coding by time and the 2021 changes to the Evaluation and Management Codes as well as the 2023 changes to the Evaluation and Management Codes.
- Practice Coding Examples: We will discuss real world examples and learn to code using evaluation and management levels 99202-99205 and 99211-99215.
And lifetime access to the course (come back and review at any time)!!
Plus a bonus: 6 Tips to Maximize RVUs!
Check out these 6 tips to increase your Relative Value Units (RVUs) (and learn what an RVU actually is)!
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Also offering continuing education hours!
The Basics of Billing and Coding Course will help nurse practitioners feel confident choosing the correct Evaluation and Management CPT® code for a patient visit, so you can avoid over coding (and under coding!) ensuring you receive proper insurance reimbursement!