Pure nonsense


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Fam Pract Manag. 2006 Jan;13(1):20.

“Coding Nonsense, NOS” [October 2005] reminds me of my favorite example of ICD-9 nonsense: Code 874.9 is listed in the index as amputation of the head! How did we ever get to this place?

Dr. Newbell’s commentary on ICD-9 coding is a wonderfully humorous take on this bizarre task. My greatest frustration has been the index. Instead of just listing the code, or even a page number, one perpetually finds, “See….” When you go to the “See …” there is frequently another “See ….” I would throw the book across the office if it weren’t so heavy. I don’t want to hit someone with it and be accused of battery.


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