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Top Five ICD-10 Codes for an Endless Winter

by Michelle Mangino, Social Media Manager

It’s the end of February. For those of you around the country who’ve suffered long enough this winter, you’d think we could get some indication, even just one glimmer of hope, that there may be an end in sight to this polar vortex of chilly madness. I don’t know about those of you in more temperate latitudes, but here at our Watertown, Massachusetts headquarters, I haven’t been able to feel my fingers and toes since December. For those facing similar forecasts, here are the Top 5 ICD-10 codes for an endless winter.

  1. W53.81XA – Bitten by groundhog
    “I’ve had it up to here with you, Punxsutawney Phil. Who on this grayish/whitish Earth do you think you are, seeing your shadow like that? Six more weeks? Get over here, ye hellish rodent.” (proceeds to attack random park groundhog, gets bitten.)
  2. F34.8 – Seasonal Affective Disorder
    So, you’ve attacked a groundhog, huh? In an environment of too much cold and not enough sunlight, this is what it feels like to hit rock bottom. Frozen solid rock bottom. May as well sit there for a while and think about what you’ve done.
  3. R45.1 – Cabin fever
    At the risk of causing any more wildlife disturbances, it’s probably best for you to stay inside, at least until spring comes. Just keep plugging away at that novel, but remember: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
  4. E55.9– Vitamin D deficiency
    Drink all the milk you want, but you’re still longing for those UV rays.
  5. X16.XXXA – Burned by electric blanket
    You may live with a scrooge-like Thermostat Miser (no, just me?), but your body will be warm thanks to that electric blanket you got on Black Friday. Just be cautious…

We realize some of these are a stretch, but our hope is for you to become gradually familiar with the forthcoming, hyper-specific code set that is ICD-10 and give you a good laugh along the way. And if this is your first encounter (ICD-10 joke, get it?) with our Top 5 ICD-10 Codes series, check out all the past posts.

And keep sending us your zany ICD-10 code suggestions! We love reading them and finding ways to incorporate them into this series! Tweet them to @athenahealth or share them in the comments section.

A BIG thanks to fellow athenista Zara Fishkin, for helping me come up with some of this month’s zingers. Is there an ICD-10 code for “Zany ICD-10 Code Burnout?”

Check out Michelle Mangino’s Google+ Profile. Follow @MichelleMangino on Twitter.

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