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Medical Practice May Need These Medical Codes for the Holiday Season

November 27, 2018

Medical Coding Tips

As the holiday season rolls around, trauma centers, urgent care centers, and family practices are gearing up to deal with festivity-related mishaps. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are days of fun and good cheer. Unfortunately, the season’s festive activities also bring with them the risk accidents and illnesses. Luckily, there are a specific medical code for the holiday season! 

From stringing Christmas lights to dealing with the in-laws, the holidays can get pretty crazy. Make sure your practice is prepared to code even the strangest accidents with these ICD-10 codes that may apply to your patients this holiday season. 

 W61.43 – Pecked by a Turkey 

Turkeys tend to be a bit edgy around the holiday season – you can’t blame them. For patients out trying to bag a live turkey for dinner, getting pecked by a turkey isn’t out of the realm of possibility. When billing you’ll need to indicate whether this is an initial encounter (43XA), sequela (43XS), or a subsequent encounter (43XD). Of course, if a gobbler misses and only manages to scratch a patient, then you’ll need code W61.49 other contact with a turkey along with designated specificity. 

 W26.2 – Contact with Edge of Stiff Paper 

A day spent frantically wrapping last minute presents for loved ones could easily lead to a paper cut, more formally known as contact with edge of stiff paper. While W26.2 isn’t a billable code on its own, there are several codes below it that contain the level of detail you’ll need for billing a paper cut. 

W27.4XXA – Contact with Kitchen Utensil, Initial Encounter

Working in the kitchen making delightful holiday treats or stealing a bit of stuffing off the plate of a sibling can both result in some unwanted contact with a kitchen utensil. 

W00.9XXA – Unspecified Fall Due to Ice and Snow, Initial Encounter 

Bustling around in the ice and snow often results in weather-related accidents. Along with an unspecified fall, other codes to report falls due to snow and ice include W00.0 for a fall on the same level due to ice and snow and W00.1 for a fall from stairs and steps due to the ice and snow. Just make sure you include the appropriate seventh character to indicate the encounter. 

Y92.59 – Injury at a Shopping Mall 

Yes, injury at a shopping mall is actually a thing – and it’s entirely possible your practice has to use this code after Black Friday. And shoppers aren’t just crazy going after holiday deals the day after Thanksgiving. Things also get hectic at the mall on Christmas Eve as everyone hurries to get those last-minute gifts. 

Y93.23 – Activity, snow skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tobogganing, and snow tubing

Everyone dreaming of a white Christmas is going to want to get out and enjoy the white powder sometime during the holiday season, whether they decide to go skiing, snow tubing, or sledding. As fun as these activities are, they can also prove dangerous and result in injuries. 

Z63.1 – Problems in Relationship with In-Laws 

While the holidays are all about bringing families together, it doesn’t always go smoothly. Z codes are used to designate reasons for encounters, and it’s possible you’ll need to use this one if family arguments get out of hand. 

W11.XXXA – Fall on and From Ladder, Initial Encounter

Those beautiful light displays take a lot of work, and in many cases, plenty of time spent on a ladder. Add snow and ice to the mix and it’s no surprise that falls on and from ladders are relatively common during the season of lights.  

F10.929 – Alcohol Use, Unspecified with Intoxication, Unspecified 

With plenty of parties and family gatherings, eggnog and other cocktails abound as people enjoy the season’s festivities. Unfortunately, it’s easy to overindulge, and that leads to hangovers and more serious problems.   

Y93.6 – Sports/Athletic Activity (Group)

Active families often get tired of simply watching football and decide to set up their own game in the backyard. Things get a little crazy, and before you know it, someone gets hurt. Luckily, there’s a code for that. Specific codes are available depending on the sport, with Y93.66 for soccer and &93.62 for flat/touch football. 

W52 – Crushed, Pushed or Stepped on By Crowd or Human Stampede

For those brave people who head out to do their Black Friday shopping in stores instead of using the web, there’s always a risk of getting pushed or stepped on as everyone rushes to grab those big deals before they’re gone. Just remember that this is a category code and you’ll need to include specificity and additional codes for injury to ensure you’re appropriately reimbursed. 

Z72.820 Sleep Deprivation 

Staying up late wrapping last-minute gifts, getting up early to get that holiday dinner done, and worrying about dealing with the in-laws – all of these things can keep patients from getting enough shut-eye during the holidays. Just make sure you don’t confuse this code with code G47.0X insomnia. 

There’s even a code for getting struck by other hoof stock, initial encounter (W55.32XA), which can be used if Grandma actually gets run over a Reindeer this holiday season. Do you need a hand with the influx of holiday billing and coding? Contact M-Scribe today at 770-666-0470 to learn more about how we can make your holiday a little brighter with some billing and coding assistance. 


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