Dr. Jessica Rose put out a substack about this, but it needs to be seen by every non-covid poked person out there. As well as every person who didn’t get the “mandatory” boosters because guess what?! You are in hot water with the CDC now too. Oh you undervaccinated and nonvaccinated for covid 19 people!!! Tsk tsk.
The lovely medical industrial complex has come up with a way to track your vaccine status. Via ICD codes.
Here is what Laura Ingraham had to report on it.
First off, what are ICD codes? There is an ICD code for EVERYTHING in healthcare. There is a code for every medical condition out there. Some are truly bizarre and ridiculous. Like this one: W56.02XA: Struck by dolphin, initial encounter. WHAT?! Struck by a dolphin? Then there is this one: V91.07XA: Burn due to water-skis on fire, initial encounter. I don’t even have words for this one. W51.XXXA: accidental striking against or bumped into by another person. Uh, my husband accidentally hit me with his shoulder when I snuck up behind him so I guess I can legally ICD code this for myself if I saw a medical provider today?! Or Y93.D: activities involved arts and handcrafts. Is this what you code for a hot glue gun burn on your finger maybe? Z63.1: problems in relationship with in-laws. Lol that would be a fun one to come across.
OK reeling it back in, had to start off with some humor though.
In the real world, ICD codes are used for legitimate purposes. F90 is ICD code for ADHD. F40.1 is Generalized Anxiety. F25.1 is Schizoaffective disorder depressed type. What do these codes do? They are put into your chart, as your insurance company requires an ICD code for the reason you came to see a provider for a visit. It states the health condition you have and why you had to see that provider and “justifies” why your insurance company should pay for that visit. So you come see me in my office and I am treating your anxiety. At the end of your note I have to put in an ICD code (F40.1) and then I have to put in a CPT code which determines level of complexity of care that day, and THEN I have to send that via a charge slip to our billing company. The billing company then sends that claim to your insurance company. This is how your insurance company knows you had a provider visit, what you were treated for, and they decide what they are going to pay me via your insurance for treating that ICD 10 code. Seems pretty cut and dried, right?
Here is where this gets nefarious. There are ICD codes for a ton of things that are not truly necessary for your insurance company to have knowledge of. For example, I am not a therapist. I prescribe medication. So why would I send your insurance company this type of code: V61.8 “sibling relational problem”. Is it your insurance company’s business that you are your sister are fighting? No. Or, you hate your job so the code V62.29 “other problem related to employment”. I don’t want a pediatric patient labeled with V15.59 “history of self harm” because they may have made a dumb mistake and scratched their wrist with a plastic fork one time. These are not relevant codes for insurance to NEED to know, in order for someone to properly diagnose and provide medicatons/therapy to you. Coding the ICD codes for depression, anxiety, insomnia, bipolar disorder, etc are more than sufficient. Even during therapy sessions. Those codes listed above are not billable and insurance won’t pay the provider for those codes, but it allows insurance to gather more information ABOUT you. Things that could be held against you later on when you apply for new insurance with someone else. That “history of self harm” could make another insurance company suspect that you are constantly self injuring yourself and that leads to a higher premium for health insurance when in reality you had a 1 time incident of scratching your wrist. Anytime insurance gets any type of ICD code for you, that goes into your permanent record. It is the #1 reason that I am absolutely 100% certain without any reasonable doubt before I diagnose someone with schizophrenia. That diagnosis will follow them for life. If I am wrong and it was a psychotic episode due to some PCP laced marijuana, I cannot “undo” that schizophrenia diagnosis. I can change it at the next visit, but that original diagnosis is still “on the books” with your insurance company. And it has the potential to follow you in a negative way. Such as, if you apply to join the military, they ask if you have a history of schizophrenia. If they dig up that insurance documentation, they are not going to allow you to join.
The power of an ICD code can be very profound. All of us can be tracked with every ICD code that has been submitted to an insurance company. The only way this does not happen is if you do not have health insurance. Then the ICD code stays between you and the provider. HIPAA actually has you sign your rights away that your information will be shared with those relevant to your account, AKA we are gonna send this to your insurance company and HIPAA does not protect you from that info being shared with insurance. HIPAA does protect you from me going out and saying “oh hey you know John Doe that works over at the Ace Hardware? Well I saw him today and man! He has a huge alcohol and cocaine problem!”. HIPAA and Provider patient privilege protects you from me ever saying a word about your protected health information (name, diagnosis, and meds given) but it certainly does NOT protect you from your insurance company knowing EVERYTHING about you. Insurance companies can even audit your chart and require that I send them a copy of your most recent visit note! They claim this is to “prevent insurance fraud” and verify that I have a note at the same time I billed your insurance company for your visit. But again, insurance can ask for that and there is nothing I or you can do because HIPAA is waived for insurance to obtain this information.
The reason for this long winded explanation is the ICD codes that pertain to vaccination status. https://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/Z00-Z99/Z20-Z29/Z28-#Z28.2
Wowwwwwwsers. Check out that Z28.2 code. Immunization not carried out because of patient decision. Z28.21 is immunization not carried out due to patient refusal. It goes ben further into the Z28.3 series which is specific FOR COVID! Z28.310 “unvaccinated for covid-19”.
Why does your insurance company need to know that information?! THE DO NOT! Unless they want to track the unvaccinated. Same goes for flu shots, MMR shots, any of the shots. They have a blanket ICD code for those, but a super special sauce ICD code JUST FOR COVID VAX REFUSAL.
This code is unnecessary. It is not being used for good reasons, it is being used for negative ones. It is why I gave the long winded breakdown above about who sees your ICD codes. And how they follow you indefinitely. If your health insurance is through your employer, as most people are on an employer group plan, I have no idea what data they generate and give to your employer. Do they send a database of “32% of your employees are not vaccinated for covid” and then your employer begins to turn up the pressure to get vaccinated?! Quite possible.
The other reason I warn you about this code is that if a provider asks about your vaccination status, for anything covid or otherwise, you have the right to ask why they are asking, if that information is going into your chart, and if they are making an ICD code about it. I cannot promise you they will be honest if they say no, but you should at the bare minimum ask. It is then up to you what you decide to tell them. But know that if you do tell a provider you are not vaccinated, there is a chance they will ICD code that and send it to your insurance company.
For the record, NEVER HAVE I EVER coded any ICD code for vaccine status. EVER. Never recommended a vaccine, never administered a covid vaccine, never had a single vial of covid vaccines cross into my office space, never mandated it or any of that nonsense. Never would I ever ICD code your vaccine status. That is your personal choice, not the business of anyone else.
I think this is going to lead to lawsuits for disparate treatment. That code is NOT A DIAGNOSIS. If they try to claim it's a diagnosis then they are discriminating and the ADA law comes into play.
I’m suing my former employer for terminating my for my refusal to get the shot. It’s out there for everyone to see, as my case has been reported in various news outlets. By terminating me due to the fact they were/are aware of my “vaccine” status, is that a HIPAA violation? They never asked for any medical information when I was hired, nor asked for any while I was working there. UNTIL it came to the Covid shot.