R46.1 – Bizarre Personal Appearance
David Bowie or Donald Trump?
R46.1 Bizarre Personal Appearance
Ever have one of those days when things just aren’t going right? Maybe your eyeliner smears and you can’t quite get one eye to match the other one. Maybe you use too much self-tanner or your toupee just won’t stay put in a windy city.
There’s an ICD-10 code for that!
Yes, your doctor can give you the once over and judge you in an instant, adding the absurd R46.1 code (bizarre personal appearance) to your medical record. Not only that but he can bill you for it!
Some people may be oddly flattered by the label while others would be up in arms, throwing insults at anyone who dared to mar his reputation. How would you react?
Would you be an open-minded Bowie or a hot-headed Trump?
Labeling someone as having a bizarre personal appearance raises moral questions for me, to be honest. The “R” codes represent symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical laboratory findings not classified elsewhere in ICD-10. Specifically, R40 to R46 codes are symptoms and signs involving cognition, perception, emotional state, and behavior. The implication, of course, is that bizarre personal appearance could be an indicator of mental illness. However, more often than not, that is not always the case. Some of us are just naturally “unique”!
We each have our own opinions of what is normal, of what constitutes beauty and art. Who are any of us to judge what someone else finds appealing? What is bizarre in the eyes of one doctor may not seem bizarre to another.
When it comes right down to it, a medical diagnosis code should be objective, not subjective.
What do you think?