The 2019 update to the ICD-10-CM coding system brings a host of beneficial changes, but one of them is worth highlighting specifically. When the changes go into effect on October 1st, practices will now have the ability to report instances of suspected human trafficking. According to the American Health Association (AHA), many practices treat trafficking victims without even realizing it, but these new codes plan to call attention to common signs in hopes that healthcare workers will become more aware.

According to AHA, “Tracking confirmed and suspected cases in the health care system will allow hospitals and health systems to better track victim needs and identify solutions to improve the health of their communities. It also provides another source for data collection to inform public policy and prevention efforts, as well as support the systemic development of an infrastructure for services and resources.”

The complete list of new codes and their definitions can be found below:

T74.51Adult forced sexual exploitation, confirmed
T74.52Child sexual exploitation, confirmed
T74.61Adult forced labor exploitation, confirmed
T74.62Child forced labor exploitation, confirmed
T76.51Adult forced sexual exploitation, suspected
T76.52Child sexual exploitation, suspected
T76.61Adult forced labor exploitation, suspected
T76.62Child forced labor exploitation, suspected
Y07.6Multiple perpetrators of maltreatment and neglect
Z04.81Encounter for examination and observation of victim following forced sexual exploitation
Z04.82Encounter for examination and observation of victim following forced labor exploitation
Z62.813Personal history of forced labor or sexual exploitation in childhood
Z91.42Personal history of forced labor or sexual exploitation

Practices should review these new codes as soon as possible and keep a watchful eye for signs of human trafficking in patients, such as avoiding staff, not seeking treatment when most people normally would, and presenting with an uncommon and hard to explain combination of injuries or illnesses.