Last July CHI, along with partners from the American Hospital Association and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Human Trafficking Initiative, submitted a proposal to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a new ICD-10 code on human trafficking. The proposal has been accepted and new codes that will cover diagnoses for forced labor and sexual exploitation will be added this October.

“The addition of these codes is an incredibly important step for health care providers to appropriately classify diagnosis, intervene and treat victims of human trafficking," said Colleen Scanlon, CHI SVP and chief advocacy officer. "CHI was pleased to be actively involved in the creation of these new codes.”

Health providers have a unique opportunity to help trafficked individuals, and appropriate coding will mean that we are better able to provide meaningful follow-up care – care that can make all the difference to someone who is trying to escape this tragic reality.
The new codes will also allow us to more effectively track the incidence of human trafficking and provide statistics about a crime that is vastly underreported and unacknowledged. Better data will mean that we can help improve prevention efforts. And, as we help to uncover the extent of the human trafficking crisis, we can make the case for needed resources and draw greater attention to this violation of human rights and dignity.