Call it the mother of all medical coding errors.Sarah Kliff of Ezra Klein’s WonkBlog recently wrote about an interesting nugget that appeared in a letter published in the British Medical Journal.
Between 2009 and 2010, thousands of British men turned up at hospitals to be treated for many pregnancy-related services, things like obstetric exams and midwife services. All told, there were 17,000 of them.
Rest assured, a wave of male pregnancy has not swept Britain. Instead, researchers studying the data think they’re the result of something way more boring: medical coding errors.
This research, published as a letter this week in the British Medical Journal, was meant to draw attention to how much data gets entered incorrectly in the country’s medical system. These guys weren’t turning up at the doctor for pregnancy-related services. Instead, they were at their doctor for procedures that had medical codes similar to those of midwifery and obstetric services. With a misplaced keystroke here or there, an annual physical could become a consultation with a midwife.
Errors? That’s what they think.
There’s no telling how many men were ACTUALLY treated for pregnancy. If you were one of these men, please email your story immediately to Sam at [email protected]
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