In ICD-9-CM, if your child has feeding difficulties or is labeled as failure to thrive (FTT) the code used for the purposes of insurance billing is, “…ICD-9-CM 783.3 Feeding difficulties and mismanagement.”(1) This seems at first glance to make sense, but if your child has a medical condition that is keeping them from gaining weight, it’s extremely hurtful to see the terms, “feeding,” and “mismanagement,” grouped together in their records. It doesn’t go unnoticed, and several mothers I’ve talked to have been emotionally upset by the code. It’s difficult to explain to them it’s just for insurance billing purposes when it’s part of their child’s official medical documentation.
In ICD-10-CM, there are a new set of codes that map directly to ICD-9-CM 783.3, specifically ICD-10-CM R63.3. (2) The term, “mismanagement,” has been removed. There are still codes for, “overfeeding,” and “underfeeding,” but these are facts that may be true even if they’re difficult to hear. Many children labeled as feeding mismanaged weren’t feeding mismanaged at all. October 1st can’t come soon enough. Having a child with feeding difficulties is hard enough without such a painful label, even if it’s, “just for insurance purposes.”