Medical diagnostic code for declining vaccines is not new, will not be used to track non-compliance

On a Facebook page for healthcare workers battling COVID-19 vaccination warrants, an unidentified woman shared what looks like a warning about new industry practices to promote vaccination.

In the viral video, the woman says a new medical diagnostic code has been designated for people who refuse vaccines, and that it will be used to help determine who will go to “education camps.”

The post was reported as part of Facebook’s efforts to tackle fake news and disinformation on its news feed. (Learn more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Despite the ominous tone of the message, the diagnostic code is not new and has been in use since 2015. There is also no evidence to support the claim that the government is considering sending unvaccinated people to. education camps.

The woman in the video makes it look like she’s at her workplace reading an email aloud. She says the correspondence is from “DOH and DHS,” and while she does not specify what the initials mean, they are common abbreviations for the Department of Health and Department of Health Services, or the Department of Health. Homeland Security. The woman says she won’t identify the state that sent the information, other than saying it wasn’t Florida.

Reading the alleged email, she says the agencies will use the ICD-10 Z28.20 diagnostic code “for advice on vaccines that do not result in vaccination.”

She explains that ICD-10 codes are used to track people through various medical data systems, including insurance and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and continues, “So for those of you who are were asking how they were going to find out who they needed to put in these … education camps and counseling camps, I think we just got our …. “Her answer fades as she points to the screen with e-mail.

ICD-10 stands for International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision. It is a classification system “designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification and presentation of mortality statistics”, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention.

The Federal Department of Health and Human Services has required that the current set of codes, ICD-10, be used by healthcare providers effectively October 1, 2015.

The code referenced in the Facebook video, Z28.20, is for “vaccination not performed due to patient’s decision for an unspecified reason,” according to ICD10Data.com. The website says the code Z28.20 came into effect on October 1, 2015.

Other healthcare publications also mention the code. The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a 2016 report on “Codes for entering vaccine refusals”, and noted that the codes begin with category Z28.

The claim in the video about the education and counseling camps appears to relate to an October 24, 2021 appearance on Fox News by CDC director Rochelle Walensky. In an interview, Chris Wallace asked Walensky if the Biden administration was “always ahead of the mandates for essential workers to get vaccinated.”

Walensky’s response included this comment to the 8:05 am mark in the exchange: “There is a plan if these people do not want to be vaccinated to education and counseling to get the information they need to make them feel comfortable getting the vaccine.”

His comment was misinterpreted by websites known to spread false information, such as NaturalNews.com, which posted a October 27 story with the headline, “CDC’s Walensky Threatens Cops Who Refuse Covid Shots, Says They Will Be Sent to Re-education Camps.”

Others, like conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, also affirmed that Walensky’s comments meant that she wanted to send people to re-education camps.

Our decision

A Facebook post claims that a new medical diagnostic code has been designated for people who refuse vaccines, and that it will be used to help determine who will go to “education camps.”

The diagnostic code is not new and has been in use since 2015.

There is no evidence to support the claim that the government is considering sending unvaccinated people to education camps. The claim misinterprets the remarks of CDC director Walensky, who said essential workers hesitant about vaccination would benefit from education and counseling.

We assess this claim as false.


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