Crochet Meets the Modern Health Industry

 

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I’ve had a lot of jobs in my life.  After college and my degree in English and Education, I worked in the Medical Record Department of a large, urban hospital where I had labored part time while attaining my degree.  I went on to get a degree in Medical Record Administration (now called Health Information Analyst or Archivist) and worked for years in that business.  When my husband opened his own practice, I left the hospital to manage his office.  I did every job except dispense medical care.  One of my main jobs is coding medical records for billing purposes.  This is how physicians and hospitals get paid – coded forms are filed electronically with insurance companies for reimbursement.  It’s not rocket science, although it does call for specialized knowledge, including medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, and the ability to apply 3-5 digit codes to medical diagnoses.  I’ve done that for hundreds if not thousands of physician encounters.  Gezillions!  Bezillions!  Lots.

Imagine my shock when I discovered that there is actually a specialized code for injury sustained while crocheting (or knitting)!  Who knew?  I know you can use codes to indicate a patient has fallen from a jet ski, had an unfortunate encounter with a dog or tick, or broke a bone while bailing out of an airplane.  Who knows why anyone needs that degree of information – but the codes are there.  They are called ICD codes and there are tons of them.  A book about the size of the white pages for a large metropolitan city contains those codes in fine print.  They are cross-indexed numerically and alphabetically.  They’re a pain.  But, apparently not as much pain as one can get from wielding a crochet hook.

So, watch out or I’ll have to fill out an electronic form indicating that you’ve got Y93D1, the code indicating you’ve sustained a crochet-related injury.

I’m wondering if we need to take umbrage at the fact that knit and crochet injuries are lumped together but specific birds each receive their own codes?  I mean, does it really matter if a canary or a parakeet bites you?  I think a knitting needle could wreak far more havoc than a crochet hook.  But, maybe it’s just me….

Should you feel the need to learn more about this latest coup of the medical industrial complex, please refer to this article.  And, darnnit, be careful that you don’t poke your eye out with that hook!

Comments

  1. says

    This just cracked me up! I work in the health care industry too – and generally use “fall from space craft” as my ICD9 code of choice when I’m doing training. I think I’m going to have to change that!

    Happy yarning! :)

  2. jeanine perkins says

    I believe this. I was recently injured by a crochet hook. I had my steel crochet hooks sitting in a cup with the hook side up. I replaced a crochet hook that I was using and when I inserted the hook into the cup, I was impaled in my thumb with one of the really small steel crochet hooks. It went in about an 1/8 inch. Not very far, but everytime I tried to remove it, it would “hook” onto the flesh in my finger and it caused extreme pain!!! I sat with this hook hanging out of my thumb, and thought “how am I going to get this thing out without going to the hospital”. I finally removed it by turning it under and then to the side as I slid it out. WoW!! I immediately put those steel hooks in a plastic carrying case. I will never store my steel hooks like that again. I never thought I would be injured by a crochet hook, either. But I was!!! Jeanine

  3. Linda says

    I can go you one better: years ago I had tossed my ball crocheting onto the front seat of the car and scooted in (thread crochet, tiny hook jammed into the thread ball). When I scooted over in the car, I don’t know how I did it but got the hook tip lodged in my *back*—wound up with a tetanus shot for my trouble—let’s just say I don’t do that anymore.

  4. Betty Dagle says

    I, too am in the medical industry, and have encountered “coding” issues, though in fact the surgeons are supposed to give it to me, I sometimes have to find it for them. I also impaled a finger with a steel hook. But no one ever told me there was an ICD9 for it. Is there a CPT for the removal?

  5. Kay Dowling says

    Back in the days when I was paying health claims I had a case where a lady put one of those tiny steel hooks into the first finger of her left hand, attempting to threadover I guess. When I was working in a doctor’s office a lady came in with a #14 steel hook in her tush. We had nothing to cut the hook off so it would be pushed through,but the maintenance man had a wire cutter that did work out. I must admit that I figured out what had to be done and therefore got to assist. I knew how because I knew how my dad got the fish hook out of my rear. I’m glad I retired before there were so many codes to deal with. Bet you have one for a fish hook injury as well.

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