People have a natural attraction to the horror genre, and science proves it. Perhaps that’s why the popularity of the Halloween holiday has exploded in our culture—so much so that we’re ready to spend $6.9 billion on it this year alone. And that figure doesn’t even include movie ticket sales for the barrage of scary flicks hitting theaters this season.

Meanwhile, the healthcare industry recently experienced Hitchcockian levels of suspense leading up to the ICD-10 switch. However, unlike horror aficionados, we were happy to have the transition be more It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown than The Exorcist. (Translation: The switch to ICD-10 was pleasantly underwhelming with few to zero frights or bumps in the night.) By and large, our ICD-10 thrills have chilled, so why not have a little fun with the codes? In honor of Halloween, here are 20 ICD-10 codes pulled from some of Hollywood’s scariest films.  

  1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: W29.3XXA, Contact with chainsaw, initial encounter
  2. Paranormal Activity: R44.0, Auditory hallucinations
  3. The Shining: R44.1, Visual disturbances
  4. Final Destination: W31.81XA, Contact with recreational machinery, initial encounter (Think roller coaster.)
  5. Halloween: X99.1XXA, Assault by knife, initial encounter
  6. American Psycho: W27.0XXA, Contact with workbench tool, initial encounter (In this case, we’re talking an axe.)
  7. An American Werewolf in London: L68.2, Localized hypertrichosis (a.k.a. werewolf syndrome)
  8. The Blair Witch Project: Y92.828, Other wilderness area as the place of occurrence of the external cause
  9. Carrie: F40.230, Fear of blood, and W55.49XA, Other contact with pig, initial encounter
  10. Dracula: S11.83XA, Puncture wound without foreign body of other specified part of neck, initial encounter
  11. The Ring: I42.8, Other cardiomyopathies (applicable to Takotsubo, or stress-induced, cardiomyopathy)
  12. Nightmare on Elm Street: F51.5, Nightmare disorder
  13. Alien: V95.40XA, Unspecified spacecraft accident injuring occupant, initial encounter
  14. Jaws: W56.41XA, Bitten by shark, initial encounter
  15. The Exorcist: R46.0, Very low level of personal hygiene
  16. Insidious: F44.89, Other dissociative and conversion disorders (applicable to trance and possession disorders)
  17. Sinister: T71.163A, Asphyxiation due to hanging, assault, initial encounter
  18. The Grudge: R46.1, Bizarre personal appearance
  19. The Hills Have Eyes: F50.8, Other eating disorders, and W88.1XXA, Exposure to radioactive isotopes, initial encounter (Check out this blog post to see the whole discussion on coding for radioactive cannibalism.)
  20. 28 Days Later: I’ll simply refer to this extensive post on coding for zombies.

Now that you know the codes, it’s time to get scared silly by watching all of these films. As you watch, you’re bound to encounter additional codes, so make sure you add them to the comments below. Also, feel free to offer code suggestions for other horror flicks I failed to mention in the list above. Full disclosure, though: I’ll trust whatever you all suggest. There’s no way I’m watching any scary movies; just researching these films gave me the heebie jeebies. Is there an ICD-10 code for scaredy-cat?

The PT’s Guide to Billing - Regular BannerThe PT’s Guide to Billing - Small Banner
  • Auld Lang Ouch! 10 ICD-10 Codes to Ring in the New Year Image

    articleDec 28, 2015 | 5 min. read

    Auld Lang Ouch! 10 ICD-10 Codes to Ring in the New Year

    Put on your party pants, people; it’s New Year’s Eve (well, nearly). This is a super-fun holiday, but don’t get overzealous with your carousing ways, because trust me—the results can be disastrous. To illustrate my point, here are ten ways to ruin your plans, as told by ICD-10. Bottoms Up 1. F10.10, Alcohol abuse, uncomplicated You’re in a deep, committed relationship—and like the code suggests, it’s not complicated at all. You love champagne. Like, sooooo much. You …

  • How to Lose a Valentine in ICD-10 Days Image

    articleFeb 12, 2015 | 5 min. read

    How to Lose a Valentine in ICD-10 Days

    For some, Valentine’s Day provides a reason to break out the bubbly; for others, it’s an excuse to stay in and avoid all the lovey-dovey hoopla. But whether Valentine’s Day has you celebrating or scowling, these ICD-10 codes are sure to elicit a chuckle or two: 1. I Love You, but I Love Me (More) Feeling preoccupied with your own self-importance? You might not be alone, but you could certainly end up that way. If ICD-10 code …

  • The 12 Codes of Christmas Image

    articleDec 13, 2015 | 5 min. read

    The 12 Codes of Christmas

    ’Tis the holiday season—a time to decorate, indulge in tasty treats, and celebrate with family and friends. Not surprisingly, the busy whirlwind that is December is ripe for injuries and accidents. As this Code It Right Online blog post explains, “holiday decorations like Christmas trees and candles and holiday-decorating activities such as stringing outdoor lights can result in injuries, deaths, and property loss.” Not the most pleasant thing to think about during what should be the most …

  • Costly ICD-10 Traps and How to Avoid Them Image

    articleAug 26, 2015 | 5 min. read

    Costly ICD-10 Traps and How to Avoid Them

    Imagine you’re playing a game . More specifically: an ICD-10 Rube Goldberg-style game . To win, you have to scurry through a series of stages without getting caught in costly traps. But what happens when you find yourself at the mercy of the swiftly-turning plastic crank? Before you know it, the cage has lowered and you’re out of the game —forever separated from your cheddar. Okay, so ICD-10 isn’t a game of zany action on a crazy …

  • How ICD-10 Will Benefit Your Practice Image

    articleApr 15, 2014 | 2 min. read

    How ICD-10 Will Benefit Your Practice

    So, the transition to ICD-10 is going to require that providers complete some prep work—that is, if said providers want a successful transition. But it’s not all bad news. Come the mandatory transition date, there will be some pretty sweet benefits: “From proper observation and documentation to improved clinical documentation, progress notes, operative reports, and histories, the benefits of ICD-10 begin with enhanced clinical documentation enabling [providers] to better capture patient visit details and lead to better …

  • ICD-10 FAQ Part Three Image

    articleOct 20, 2015 | 16 min. read

    ICD-10 FAQ Part Three

    In the movie world, threequels have a reputation for failing to match the glory of their predecessors (The Hangover Part III, anyone?). It’s almost like the writers know they’re out of material, but instead of knowing when to fold ’em, they continue to hold ’em—right up until the inevitable flop. But with ICD-10, the questions just keep getting better—which means the third and latest installment of our ICD-10 FAQ is even juicier than the last. So, grab …

  • Medical Necessity and ICD-10: What Physical Therapists Need to Know Image

    articleAug 11, 2015 | 4 min. read

    Medical Necessity and ICD-10: What Physical Therapists Need to Know

    ICD-10 has raised a lot of questions, and with good reason:  it differs greatly from its predecessor, ICD-9 , after all. One critical question is, “How will ICD-10 affect the way in which I diagnose?” Currently, many physical therapists receive diagnosis codes from referring physicians, and they just carry those over into their notes. But ICD-10 isn’t solely about coding patient diagnoses correctly; it’s also about coding the correct patient diagnoses. As Lori Purcell, RHIA, CCS, explains …

  • Breaking News: Congress Delays ICD-10 Implementation Until 2015 Image

    articleApr 1, 2014 | 3 min. read

    Breaking News: Congress Delays ICD-10 Implementation Until 2015

    Note: This is not an April Fools’ joke. On March 31, the US Senate voted 64-35 to approve a House-drafted bill that includes a provision to push the ICD-10 deadline back a year—all  without a single mention of ICD-10 during a nearly three-hour Senate floor debate. The main purpose of the bill—HR 4302—was to enact a one-year “fix” of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, thus preventing a 24% cut in Medicare’s physician reimbursement rate. This legislation …

  • The Case for Coders Image

    articleFeb 23, 2015 | 3 min. read

    The Case for Coders

    As the ICD-10 saga unfolds, providers and other stakeholders inevitably will find that the new codes are far more specific than ICD-9 . And because of that specificity, simple mistakes could lead to reimbursement delays and claim denials. To get ahead of the game and prevent denials, you’ll need some type of quality control to keep those tiny—but potentially costly—errors from occurring. One way to do that? Hire an outside expert: an ICD-10-trained medical coder. Decoding Coders …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.