Turkey assaults ICD-10 codes in Congress

Carl Natale
by Carl Natale

Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, stood on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday and blasted the ICD-10 mandate.

[Read: Bureaucratic codespeak]

He obviously didn't read my post asking for examples of how ICD-10  coding is inadequate. He focused on the usual suspects:

  • Too many codes
  • Too much money
  • Too much intrusion
  • Too little benefit for patients

He also tried to be funny by mocking how to document a turkey attack:

"There is a code for being assaulted by a turkey for the first time, there is a code for being assaulted by the turkey a second time. There are nine codes. The doctor must get the right code or he's in violation of the law."

He also used the lamppost example — which is a sure sign someone doesn't have a serious, original argument against ICD-10 implementation — to repeat the same two mistakes.

First of all, Poe must be referring to "subsequent encounter." It doesn't mean that a patient is attacked by turkeys twice. It means the physician sees the patient twice for the same injury.

[See also: ICD-10 Terminology: Subsequent encounters with a common misunderstanding]

Second, yes ICD-10 is a federal mandate. But Poe makes it sound like physicians could be arrested by the "code police." Nice scare tactic.

My suspicion is that someone is manipulating Poe to spread misinformation that will stick in people's minds.

I kind of feel like truth has been assaulted by a turkey.