Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact.com | Tampa Bay Times
Sorting out the truth in politics

Politifact: Medicare does have nine codes for turkey contacts

The statement

Says new Medicare billing guidelines "have nine codes for (injuries by) turkeys."

U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, on Fox Business Network

The ruling

Doctors' offices, already burdened by federal billing bureaucracy, will soon find themselves pecked to death by new rules, Texas congressman Ted Poe says.

New diagnosis codes required for reimbursement are so specific, he told Fox Business Network host John Stossel, there are a set of them just for injuries caused by turkeys.

"Whether you run into a turkey or the turkey runs into you, you're pecked by a turkey or you're bitten by a turkey, there's a difference between being pecked and being bitten," he said in an interview last week. "So they have nine codes for turkeys."

Poe, a fifth-term Republican who's a member of the Tea Party Caucus, argues doctors shouldn't have to face the expense of complying with new rules or penalties for screwing up.

"Do they need to go through this much detail to get information to the federal government? I don't think they do," he said.

We had to know: Do new Medicare billing guidelines include "nine codes for turkeys"?

As Poe suggested, the new system does have far more diagnosis codes than the version developed in the 1970s — 68,000 instead of 13,000.

The codes, which will be required for Medicare claims by October 2014, allow doctors to specify not just injuries from turkeys, but from parrots, macaws, ducks and geese.

There's a different code for being "struck" vs. "pecked" or suffering from "other contact"— with specification for the first time, an unlucky repeat or even worse, "sequela." (That would be some "negative afteraffect" resulting from your turkey encounter.)

Poe's office pointed us to this:

W61.4 Contact with turkey

W61.42 Struck by turkey

• W61.42XA initial encounter

• W61.42XD subsequent encounter

• W61.42XS sequela

W61.43 Pecked by turkey

• W61.43XA initial encounter

• W61.43XD subsequent encounter

• W61.43XS sequela

W61.49 Other contact with turkey

• W61.49XA initial encounter

• W61.49XD subsequent encounter

• W61.49XS sequela

If you've seen TV ads about the need to prepare for a bright new career in medical billing and coding — this is part of the reason why.

We rate this claim True.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Politifact: Medicare does have nine codes for turkey contacts 04/30/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 9:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College basketball scandal dips into Tampa Bay

    Preps

    Tuesday's national college basketball scandal has recruiting ties to Tampa Bay.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]
  2. Datz to open in St. Petersburg, join the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

    Food & Dining

    Now Datz news.

    Get it? Tuesday, Datz, the longtime line-out-the-door, oft-Instagrammed and -Yelped Tampa stalwart known for shock-and-awe sandwiches and oh-so-much bacon, announced it is coming to St. Petersburg.

    Lunch guest eat at Datz Deli at 2616 South MacDill Ave. in Tampa. Times files.
  3. Republican leader McConnell pulls the plug on latest Obamacare repeal effort

    WASHINGTON --- Sen. Mitch McConnell on Tuesday officially pulled the plug on the latest plan to repeal the health care law, telling senators they will not vote on the measure and effectively admitting defeat in the last-gasp drive to fulfill a core promise of President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, after the Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as education secretary. DeVos was approved by the narrowest of margins, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie in a historic vote. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) DCSA119
  4. Lightning's Brayden Point could be perfect fit alongside Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov

    Lightning Strikes

    SUNRISE — Brayden Point ended last season as the Lightning's No. 1 center, thrust into the role as a rookie due to injuries.

    Lightning center Brayden Point (21) advances the puck through the neutral zone during Friday's preseason game against the Nashville Predators. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  5. For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Blake Snell starting, Wilson Ramos cashing in

    Blogs

    The Rays open their final road series of the season tonight at Yankee Stadium, which is also where they played their first of the season.

    LHP Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, looking to continue his successful late-season run, in which he is 4-0, 2,57 over his last eight starts.

    Tonight marks Wilson Ramos' 55th start of the season.