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My Prognosis is Better Than My Diagnosis - Joel 3:10 - Robert Earl Hosuton, Sr.

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Before I entered into the ministry full-time, I was bi-vocational, which meant that I pastored a small (in terms of membership) congregation in Portland, Oregon, the Greater St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church, and at the same time I was employed by Emanuel Hospital & Health Center working at the front desk and then as the Program Manager for the hospital’s Physician Care Organization, where I handled and dispensed several million dollars of claims and physician payments.

On every case that was handled by the physicians through the clinic, whenever a patient was being seen, the physician would use a code for their session. It was usually a numeric code that signified and was easy to enter into a computer – where any physician’s office or insurance company could find out in just a few seconds what the diagnosis was of that patient. They were called ICD-9 codes.

For example . . .
         If you had the Sickle Cell Trait your number was 282.5
         If you had a dental abcess your number was 522.5
         If you had a lump in your breast your number was 611.72
         If you had a hearing loss your number was 389.9
         If you had asthma your number was 493.02
         If you had heartburn your number was 787.1
         And on and on and on the numbering system went.

These numbers were used only to identify your current condition. In many occasions your number could be 919.4 today (insect bite) and on your next visit your number could be 706.1 (acne). You could be treated today for V77.1 (diabetic screening) and next time you could there for 825.20 (fracture of the foot).

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