Medical coding is a fabulous career and it involves assigning codes to all the services and procedures performed by a healthcare provider on a patient. The medical codes aid in health-related studies and research. However, the main purpose of giving codes to the services offered is to standardize the processes and procedures across healthcare facilities to help the insurance payers understand the various aspects of a patient encounter to the highest specificity and determine if the services provided are eligible for reimbursements. People in medical coding services translate the physicians’ documentation into standardized alphanumeric codes to help medical billers prepare accurate bills that give the insurance payers an accurate analysis of –
- Patients’ diagnoses
- Medical necessity for the services, treatments and supplies provided to the patients
- Treatments, services, supplies provided and equipment used for the patient
- Any other medical condition or circumstance that affected the services provided.
To provide such detailed information in simple codes, it becomes essential that there are codes for every kind of ailment, disease, suffering, and symptom, the place in the human body which is impacted, the kind of equipment used and services provided. This is the reason; there are thousands of medical codes that need to be understood by the medical coders. Those who are in medical coding jobs understand the intricacies of assigning accurate codes and do their job perfectly with the help of the various coding manuals. There are some common codes that almost all coders are used to because they are related to the most common ailments. But, there are some codes that many medical coders would also be not aware of because of their rare incidences or their uniqueness. Let us see some of the strange medical codes that the medical coders may encounter –
- Prolonged stay in a weightless environment, initial encounter: X52.XXXA is a billable code that describes the circumstance causing an injury related to prolonged stay in a weightless environment which is usually experienced by astronauts.
- Tidal wave due to landslide, initial encounter: This is a diagnosis code – X3743XA. This code doesn’t specify the injuries related to tidal waves caused by storms, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. It specifies a tidal wave due to a landslide.
- Explosion of bicycle tire: This billable code (W370XXA) is related to the initial encounter with an explosion of bicycle tire in the category title of explosion and rupture of pressurized tire, pipe or hose.
- Walked into wall: W2201XA is a billable code used to indicate a diagnosis that describes the circumstance causing an injury. W22 codes are related to striking against or struck by other objects and this particular code specifies walking into a wall.
- Assault by hot tap water: X981XXA is a code used to specify assault by hot tap water, an initial encounter which means assault by tap water that’s been heated or assault by people with water straight from the tap.
- Problems with in-laws: Could you ever imagine that there would be a code to specify problems with in-laws? Yes, there is indeed a code for this. Z63.1 is a code that deals with problems in the relationship with in-laws.
- Other contact with pig: Don’t mistake this code for a bite of a pig or getting struck by a pig. This code specifies other contacts than these. The code used is W55.49X.
These are some of the rare or strange medical codes that can be used by people in medical coding jobs when needed. It is not essential that each and every code is memorized by medical coders because there are thousands of codes in different code sets like ICD -10 code set, CPT code set and HCPCS code set. Whenever an unusual or strange encounter is reported, it is better to refer the code manuals and then assign the code to the highest level of specificity and accuracy.