Bit by a squirrel? There's now a code for that (W53.21XA)

Story highlights

  • Starting today, doctor's offices worldwide will begin using new, updated medical codes
  • The new codes are much more specific than the old ones
  • Doctors, hospitals have been training staff, buying new computer programs
  • The codes will be revised again in 2017

(CNN)If you get hurt in a close encounter with a sea lion, injured at the library or burned when your water skis catch on fire for the second time, you are now in luck. Before today your doctor had no way to code for these specific injuries (W56.19XA, Y92.241 and V91.07XD, respectively), but now these unusual circumstances -- along with over 137,000 new classified ways to get injured, sick or die -- will be represented in the way the medical system records what ails you.

How medical billing changes impact you

    For one thing, it's likely made your doctor nervous and it likely should. It's the biggest change to happen to the medical profession in years and virtually no one outside of the profession has heard about it. This government-mandated change has the potential to m