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Top ICD-10 Codes for Gardeners

by Michelle Mangino, Social Media Manager

With the ICD-10 transition less than five months away(!), we’ve been ramping up our efforts on the blog to educate, inform and prepare you all for October 1 – everything from assessing the grieving phases (with slight tongue in cheek) to giving a behind-the-scenes look at what we’re doing at athenahealth to help our clients succeed. But I think we’re overdue for something far more light-hearted at ICD-10’s expense. Am I right?

If you’re familiar with our zany ICD-10 codes series, you know we recently tackled potential diagnosis codes for St. Patrick’s Day (hey, timing is everything). For this month’s installment, I drew inspiration from my fondness for gardening, an activity that’s really been put to the test after all the damage my plants suffered during the New England winter.

Here are four diagnoses (and their corresponding ICD-10 codes) you are likely to use if an inexperienced (read: accident prone) gardener visits your practice. If you have any aspiring (or delusional) green thumbs among your patients, you may just want to keep these handy… 

1.  W60.XXXAContact with nonvenomous plant thorns and spines and sharp leaves, initial encounter

Any of my fellow rose gardeners can agree that it is impossible to prune rose bushes without coming out of it looking like you were attacked by a cat. (If you’ve found a way – tweet me!) Not even those special gardening gloves with rubber fingers helps.

2.  T63.442S – Toxic effect of venom of bees, intentional self-harm, sequel

When you’re not dodging the thorns and sharp leaves on your plants, you’re ducking and weaving the bees that all your weeks of gardening have attracted. If I went one gardening season without being stung I’d call it a success.

3.  Z89.419 – Acquired absence of unspecified great toe

Now, I can’t begin to fathom how one could acquire the absence of their big toe, but if I had to conjure up an explanation, I’d say it was a result of digging large holes for potting new plants. After being out in the sun all day, I could see how it would be easy to mistake your dirty sneaker for, well, the dirt. (If you have a better explanation for how this could come to be, please share it in the comments section below!)

4.  W29.3 – Contact with powered garden and outdoor hand tools and machinery, initial encounter

As a recent homeowner with hedges in the front of my home, I’m slowly realizing why most people opt for a fence – those powered hedge trimmers are no joke! I swear, they have a mind of their own, which is why I switched to manual hedge shears. I don’t care if it takes me all week, I am not falling victim to diagnosis W29.3…

Stumble across any particularly odd, funny or interesting ICD-10 codes as you’re preparing for the transition? Share them in the comments section below and you may see them incorporated into our next zany code series post!


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Comments

Submitted by Debby - Thursday, May 14, 2015

I don't think T63.441S is accurately coded... I'm pretty sure those Bees are doing it on purpose.

Submitted by Laena Karnstedt MD - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

These gardening ICD 10 codes make me very depressed. I have many of the ICD 9 codes in internal medicine and many common codes in other specialties memorized. I will not have the brain power for these new ones, and will waste more time as usual looking them up. I find that I dislike more about what I do than what I like, because of such realities.

Submitted by Jane Bisco - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Just wanted to tell you that I really enjoy these. Thanks for doing them!

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