Human trafficking ICD-10-CM codes now available; state law compliance required

Posted on: 10/3/18


As of Oct. 1, new ICD-10-CM codes take effect enabling clinicians to better classify a diagnosis for patients who are victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking is a public health concern and a criminal act. Every day, hospitals and health systems see patients who experience it. Oklahoma state law requires reporting of human trafficking of children to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. HB 3496 (2014) states those failing to promptly report trafficking or those suspected of interfering will be reported to their licensing entity and may be subject to discipline. Oklahoma state law also requires hospital personnel to mandatorily report to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services Hotline any child sexual exploitation for investigation by DHS of abuse and neglect. HB 1066 on sexual exploitation became effective Nov. 1, 2015.

The new ICD-10-CM codes are available for data collection on adult or child forced labor or sexual exploitation, either confirmed or suspected. New codes also are available for history of labor or sexual exploitation, encounter for examination and observation of exploitation ruled out, and an external cause code to identify multiple, repeated perpetrators of maltreatment and neglect. These codes are an important tool that will support appropriate treatment and track these occurrences in communities.

Coding professionals and clinical leaders can join together to educate staff on the new codes and about the need to collect data. The AHA’s Hospitals Against Violence webpage links to a number of tools and resources on human trafficking, as well as information on the ICD-10-CM codes, including key terms that may be used in medical documentation. You’ll find a factsheet, video, “10 Red Flags That Your Patient Could Be a Victim of Trafficking” infographic, and resources used by several hospitals.  

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