Friday, March 28, 2014

Hate Speech

Much has been written about Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, the French performer who has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism as well as Holocaust denial, both of which are in violation of French anti-hate laws.  The French government has forced cancellation of some of his performances.  As reported in the NY Times (Mar 11), these actions have actually "fueled support" for him.

No surprise.  Attempts at suppression of speech actually may tend to promote it!  Censorship at any level tends to promote the "offensive" item, whether it be a speech, a film, or whatever.  Yes, we can try to restrict the sale or viewing or private access to "offensive" materials to certain age groups, but total elimination is unworkable.

However, hate speech (or any form of speech) with an intention to promote violence is (and should be) illegal!

Anti-Semitism (and other forms of extreme hatred and prejudice) has been extant throughout all of Western history - and can take hold in countries where there are few, if any, Jews!  But trying to eliminate such hate speech with anti-hate speech laws has been unsuccessful, merely driving such speech underground or into cyberspace.

Fight fire with fire.  Fight hate speech with anti-hate speech!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Medical Coding and Medical Billing - New Codes!

I thought you might be interested in some additions in the ICD -10, the newly updated (the last one, ICD-9, was published some 30 years ago) tenth version of the International Classification of Diseases which is published by the World Health Organization.  It is the standard for coding diagnoses and procedures that physicians must use when filing for reimbursement from Medicare and other insurance companies.  The current coding system, according to an article in the recent issue of The Weekly Standard, will increase the number of accepted diagnoses from 17,000 to 155,000!!

Medical coding has become a specialty of its own.  Medical facilities and physicians offices employ individuals who have become certified in this "specialty."  The recent edition of the new ICD-10 regulations was discussed at a meeting of the American Academy of Professional Coders.  Yes, this specialty now has its own special "Academy."

Here, believe it or not, are some of the new ICD-10 Codes:

Code T63112A - Toxic effect of venom of gila monster
Code V9412XA - Bather struck by non powered watercraft
Code X060XXA - Exposure to ignition of plastic jewelry
Code T63612A - Toxic effect of intact with Portugese Man-o-War
Code S30867A - Insect bite (non-venomous) of anus
Code W5612XA - Struck by sea lion
Code T71222A - Asphyxiation due to being trapped in a car trunk
Code R461 - Bizarre personal appearance
Code V9542XA - Forced landing of spacecraft injuring occupant
Code V9733XA - Sucked into jet engine
Code V80731A - Occupant of animal-drawn vehicle injured in collision with streetcar

Estimated cost of implementing new code for a small medial practice is $83,290, and for a very large practice - $2.7 million!