Medical coding errors lead to 17,000 pregnant men, ICD-10 anyone?

While errors in medical coding is a serious issue, it can turn up some unexpected and sometimes funny side effects. Research published by the British Medical Journal draws attention to the fact that there are a lot of medical coding errors that are entered into the country’s medical system. In this case it was revealed that Britain had 17,000 pregnant men.

These men who turn up at the doctor’s office weren’t there for pregnancy-related services, but their procedures had medical codes that were similar to those of midwifery and obstetric services. Because the medical codes were similar, it is not hard to imagine how mistakes in data entry could lead to pregnant men. Imagine how these mistakes are compounded when ICD-10 is implemented and medical coders have 140,000 codes to choose from. That would make for a very wide margin of error. Expect more pregnant men.

Reference article: Washington Post

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