Help Stop the Cycle of Human Trafficking

New ICD-10-CM codes are now in effect so clinicians can 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. 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 that these new codes exist and about the need to collect data. The American Hospital Association’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 factsheetvideo, “10 Red Flags That Your Patient Could Be a Victim of Trafficking” infographic, and resources used by several hospitals.

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