February is observed as “American Heart Month” – a perfect time to advocate cardiovascular health and raise awareness about heart disease. Sponsored by the American Heart Association, the 2019 campaign is a unique platform to spread awareness about coronary heart disease (CHD) (also called coronary artery disease (CAD) and the need for timely detection, treatment, prevention and incorporating small lifestyle changes to improve heart health. Regarded as the most common form of heart disease, CHD develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with oxygen and other essential nutrients become damaged or diseased. Vascular injury with cholesterol plaque buildup in the arteries (known as atherosclerosis) is one of the most common causes of CHD. Reduced blood flow may not cause any specific symptoms during the early stages. However, as the plaque continues to build-up in the coronary arteries, patients may experience certain symptoms like – chest pain, shortness of breath and heart attack. Treatment for coronary artery disease usually involves lifestyle changes and, if necessary, drugs and certain medical procedures. Cardiologists or other specialists administering different treatment modalities should have up-to-date knowledge about the latest guidelines or practices for medical billing and coding. For correct clinical documentation of this heart disorder, physicians can benefit from the services of medical billing companies.

Reports from the American Heart Association suggest that about 92.1 million American adults (2018 statistics) are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. It is estimated that cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 836,546 deaths (1 out of every 3 deaths) in the United States. About half of Americans have at least one specific risk factor for heart disease which includes – high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, smoking, obesity, and insulin resistance/hyperglycemia. The 2019 campaign aims to educate people about the need for incorporating positive lifestyle changes like – regular body exercise, consuming a nutritious diet, quitting smoking and alcohol consumption, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Cardiologists and vascular specialists documenting coronary artery disease (CAD) must include the related symptoms, diagnosis, screening tests and other treatment procedures performed using the correct medical codes. Medical billing and coding services offered by established medical billing companies can help physicians use the right medical codes for their medical billing purposes. The following ICD-10 codes are relevant for heart disease –

  • I25 – Chronic ischemic heart disease
    • I25.1 – Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery
      • I25.10 – Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery, without angina pectoris
      • I25.11 – Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery with angina pectoris
        • I25.110 – Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery with unstable angina pectoris
        • I25.111 – Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery with unstable angina pectoris, with documented spasm
        • I25.118 – Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery with other forms of angina pectoris
        • I25.119 – Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery with unspecified angina pectoris

    February was officially designated as “American Heart Month” in 1963 by the then President Lyndon B. Johnson. The major objective behind introducing this monthly campaign was to motivate Americans to join the battle against this chronic heart disorder. Since 2004, February also has been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign with the message that heart disease is not only a man’s problem, but a woman’s problem, too. “Go Red for Women”, is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally. Each year, the first Friday of February has been designated as “National Wear Red Day” to inspire women to take charge of their heart health.

    In 2019, this “National Wear Red Day” was celebrated on February 1. Across the state and the nation on February 1 (Friday) millions of people wore red sweaters, red dresses, red ties or red dress pins to show their support for the American Heart Association’s mission to saves lives from chronic heart diseases.

    As part of the campaign, a wide variety of events including – health screenings, healthy eating demonstrations, educational talks and workshops are designed to promote heart-health awareness and education. The details about this campaign are also shared via several social media platforms like – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. People are encouraged to participate in this campaign by posting – #WearRedandGive on social media platforms.

    Join American Heart Month celebration! Take important steps to generate more awareness about CHD.