Facts About American Heart Month

by | Last updated May 25, 2023 | Published on Feb 13, 2023 | Healthcare News

American Heart Month
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February is observed as “American Heart Month” – the perfect time for the nation to focus on cardiovascular health. The campaign, initiated by the American Heart Association (AHA), aims to generate awareness about the risks of heart disease and highlight the possible steps that can be adopted to save the lives of those countless people and address the unequal burden of heart disease in high-risk communities. Regarded as a leading cause of death in the United States, cardiovascular conditions affect more than 120 million Americans. Cardiovascular disease occurs when the arteries leading to the heart become clogged. The condition can affect anyone, but taking control of prior health risks, diet and lifestyle activities can help reduce the risk of the condition in the long run. Cardiologists treating different types of cardiovascular diseases need to be up-to-date with the latest medical coding guidelines or practices for medical billing and coding. For correct clinical documentation of different types of cardiovascular conditions, physicians can utilize the services of professional medical billing outsourcing companies.

According to reports, heart disease claims nearly 700,000 lives a year in the United States. Nearly half of all American adults have at least one major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that heart disease kills 1 in 5 women every year. The 2023 annual campaign aims to encourage Americans to understand the importance of a healthy heart and develop healthy habits that help reduce the risk of heart disease. There are different types of cardiovascular diseases; coronary heart disease (CHD) (also called coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the most common forms that affect people. CHD/CAD develops when the major blood vessels that supply the heart with oxygen and other essential nutrients become damaged or diseased. The condition can occur at any age and high blood pressure/ cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and excessive smoking/alcohol usage are some of the common risk factors.

The annual observance acts as a strong platform to educate people about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment procedures available. Chest pain that spreads to the neck, jaw, ears, arms, and wrists, and in certain cases to the shoulder blades, back, or abdomen are the main symptoms of the condition. Practicing healthy habits can help people reduce the risks of the condition in the long run. Diagnosis involves several tests such as – electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, coronary angiography, exercise stress tests, X-rays, blood tests, radionuclide tests, and MRI and CT scans. Treatments include a combination of pharmacologic, non-pharmalogic and surgical approaches.

Cardiologists and other specialists treating different types of cardiovascular diseases must be correctly reimbursed for the services provided. Clinicians need to properly document all details as ICD-10 provides specific codes for heart ailments and treatment approaches depend on the exact etiology. Accurate documentation of the diagnosis and screening tests done must be reported on the medical claims using the correct medical codes. Assigning the most specific codes is crucial for better patient care and accurate reimbursement. Outsourced billing and coding services provided by professional medical billing companies can help physicians assign the correct codes.

ICD-10 Codes Related to Heart Diseases

  • I25 Chronic ischemic heart disease
  • I25.1 Atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery
  • I25.10 …… 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 …… with documented spasm
  • I25.112 Atherosclerosic heart disease of native coronary artery with refractory angina pectoris
  • 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

The history of this month-long observance dates back to the year 1963 – when the then US President Lyndon B. Johnson – designated February as “American Heart Month”. The Congress, by Joint Resolution approved December 30, 1963, as amended (36 U.S.C. 101), requested that the President issue an annual proclamation designating February as “American Heart Month.” Initially, the campaign was designed as a platform to encourage Americans to join the battle against chronic heart disorder. Since 2004, February has become the officially designated 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. This campaign helps facilitate change to improve the lives of women on a global basis. Each year, the first Friday of February has been designated as “National Wear Red Day”. In 2023, this “National Wear Red Day” (as part of the AHA’s Go Red for Women initiative) fell on February 3. On this day, people across the nation are encouraged to wear red to raise awareness about heart disease in women.
The theme for 2023 AHM is “Be the Beat” – which signifies the need for people to learn about heart health and take small steps to reduce their risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD). You can join the AHA’s challenge to be the one in your household to learn CPR and “be the beat” for someone you love. As part of the campaign, a wide variety of events like health screenings, online community events, educational talks and workshops will be arranged to promote heart-health awareness and education. People can share information, graphics and messages related to heart-healthy habits and risk factors for heart disease. You can support the campaign via several social media platforms such as Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram with the hash tag – #HeartMonth.

Join the AHM Campaign 2023. Honor the memories of those people who have lost to heart disease and celebrate the courage of those living with heart conditions.

Loralee Kapp

Since joining our RCM Division in October 2021, Loralee, who is HIT Certified (Health Information Technology/Health Information Management), brings her extensive expertise in medical coding and Health Information Management practices to OSI.

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