Illustration for article titled There is now a medical-insurance code for being struck by a turtle

Let's say you're in a car accident and you break your leg. If you go to the hospital, your doctors will consult a list of around 18,000 alphanumeric medical-insurance codes that they can use to describe your injuries in bills that they send to insurers.


Unfortunately, not one of these 18,000 codes accounts for spacecraft collisions. Or turtle impacts. Or being bitten by a Macaw. Well guess what — now they do.

In fact, the new federally-mandated list of medical-insurance codes will expand the original list from around 18,000 codes to 140,000, meaning there's all sorts of new descriptions doctors can use to describe the medical services you received, and why you needed them. And guess what else. The database is searchable.


Did you make a forced landing of your spacecraft and injure yourself? That'll be code V9542XA. Fall into an open manhole? W171XXA. Crushed by a tuba? Y93J4.

There's no specific code for running into a motorcycle while riding your genetically-engineered tauntaun, though I guess technically that would be covered under code V8031XA (animal-rider injured in collision with two-or-three-wheeled motor vehicle, initial encounter).

Still, given that this 140,000-code list is only the 10th revision of the diagnosis code database, it's probably safe to assume that by the 20th revision we'll have a medical insurance code for just about everything. (One can only hope that there is reason to include codes for genetically engineered tauntauns.)

The Wall Street Journal via boingboing

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