My good buddy Stephie has graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with her social work degree! Seeing as she has her masters in geology as well… Stephie is my hero.

Stephie is cynical. This is a good thing. I admire her Mark Twain directness and observational skills. It makes her funny to me. I like to laugh.

In grad school Stephie was required to learn about the behavioral health diagnostic tome, the DSM-V. The DSM-IV preceded the DSM-V by 14 years. Was it necessary to update the DSM?

Here’s what Stephie’s prof felt of the DSM-V:

  1. It’s a load of horse shit.
  2. It panders to the insurance companies.
  3. It’s culturally biased.

Now, I can’t speak to cultural competency concerns within the pages of the DSM-V. I don’t have that familiarity at my fingertips. Having – in one life – been both a CPT coder and an instructor training for medical billing, I can offer informed empiricism on the insurance affinity of the DSM. Couple this with being a peer who has contested billing of my services many times and you now have the ideal diagnostician to critique the DSM. Yep. I have the experiential credentials to bellyache with authority.

As mentioned, the span between the DSM-IV and DSM-V is 14 years. Why the update at all? Does the DSM-V increase treatment options and direct medication development, or can this be done independent of a diagnostic manual? Or even in spite of a diagnostic manual… which is what happened in that 14 year span.

Perhaps coinidentally, CPT and ICD coding (the codes necessary for medical billing) needed a new billing manual so all these interim treatment options developed over 14 years could be properly monetized.

Tada! DSM-V!!!

That was a ton of words just to say “the DSM is a billing guide and not a diagnostic tool and anyone who says otherwise is in it for the money.”

This isn’t a new or unique assertion. I just wanted you to know I have the critical reasoning skills to think deeply about stuff and things.

As an aside, the use of Roman numerals in the DSM nomenclature is so dick.

Look, Stephie… I’m as cynical as you!!!