Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Presidential Debate = Total Coronary Occlusion (I25.82)

Topping news headlines in Denver this morning is tonight's presidential debate.  I know what you're thinking - it's a big topic everywhere.  But here the focus is not on the candidates or their platforms - yet.  The focus is on what it will do to Denver traffic for the evening commute as our own University of Denver (DU) plays host to the candidates. 

If you're not familiar with the geography of Denver - besides the whole mile-high thing - we have one major interstate that runs north and south, connecting the northern community of Fort Collins to the southern city of Colorado Springs.  That is Interstate 25.  And right smack dab in the middle is Denver.  I think Denver is quite unique in that the downtown area is not the only major business area.  Just a little to the south is the Denver Technological Center (DTC) - the Silicone Valley of Colorado, if you will - which is filled with office parks.  To say that I-25 is a busy thoroughfare during rush hour is an understatement.  It's the heart of the city's traffic structure.  And DU is situated right in the middle of downtown Denver and the DTC - just off the I-25 corridor.  And for this evening's presidential debate, a significant portion of I-25 near DU will be closed off.  And this leads me to today's code for the day:
  • I25.82, Chronic total occlusion of coronary artery
Of course, I suppose this closure would be more of an acute total occlusion, but I just loved the wording so much, I took a liberty or two with my blog today.  I think it's hysterical that coronary artery disease codes to category I25.  It tickles my twisted coder funny bone to realize that the code for clogged heart arteries is the namesake of the frequently clogged interstate that runs through my home town.  I believe I even snickered out loud in class when I made this discovery.  To add to my joy, arteriosclerosis of the peripheral arteries is classified to category I70, which happens to be our major east/west artery through Colorado and the gateway to the mountains.  On a Sunday afternoon, eastbound I-70 traffic coming into Denver is more backed up than I-25's morning rush hour as people erase their peaceful mountain weekend bliss and cuss at each other on their way down the mountain.  But I digress!

Category I25 is filled with all kinds of codes covering the gamut of coronary artery disease, including CAD of the native arteries as well as CAD of the bypass grafts or vessels of a transplanted heart.  It also has codes for chronic total occlusion of the coronary artery (as already mentioned), old MI, and coronary atherosclerosis due to lipid rich plaque, which always brings to mind a quote from a movie I can't quite place right now: "Your cholesterol is so high, you're practically a solid!"

So to all my blog followers who live in the Denver area, best of luck with your evening commute.  Hopefully you have a nice boss who either let you work from home today or will let you leave early!