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?

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