February Is American Heart MonthFebruary is observed as “American Heart Month”, an ideal way to draw attention to the importance of promoting and maintaining heart health. Sponsored by the American Heart Association, the 2018 campaign is a special effort to increase awareness about coronary artery disease (CAD, also called coronary heart disease, CHD) and the importance of early detection, treatment and prevention. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common form of heart disease that occurs due to the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, usually caused by atherosclerosis. Early-stage coronary artery disease often may not generate any symptoms. However, the problem gets fully diagnosed only when a routine checkup reveals a high cholesterol/blood pressure levels or when the patient suffers a significant blockage or heart attack. Treatment for this disease involves healthy lifestyle changes and, if necessary, drugs and certain medical procedures. Cardiologists, besides providing appropriate treatment need to ensure that medical coding for this condition is appropriately done on the medical claims. Proper coding on the medical claims is crucial for healthcare providers to ensure accurate documentation and reimbursement. These providers can consider outsourcing medical billing as well as coding to an experienced firm in this industry.

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. Reports from the American College of Cardiology (2017 statistics) suggests that cardiovascular diseases accounts for approximately 800,000 deaths in the US or one out of every three deaths. The month of February was officially designated as American heart Month in 1963, (by the then President Lyndon B. Johnson) with an objective to urge Americans to join the battle against this deadly disease. Since 2004, February has also been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s (AHA) “Go Red for Women Campaign” which spreads the message that heart disease is not only a man’s problem. “National Wear Red Day®” was held this year on February 2 with the aim to educate women about the seriousness of women’s heart health issues and how their symptoms are different from those experienced by men.

Coronary Heart DiseaseIt is estimated that nearly half of all Americans have at least one major risk factor for heart disease. The month-long observation helps to make people understand the various risk factors associated with the disease such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol. It aims to motivate people to incorporate positive lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, consuming a healthy diet, following a strict exercise regime, and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Cardiologists are reimbursed for the treatments provided to their patients. The diagnosis and other tests offered must be reported on the medical claims using the correct medical codes. Medical billing and coding services provided by reliable companies can help physicians use the correct codes for their medical billing. The following ICD-10 codes are relevant with regard to heart diseases –

  • 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

The 2018 national campaign aims to educate people about CHD and how they can prevent it – both at home and in the community. As part of the event, hospitals, schools, and corporations are offering educational and inspirational products to employees and community members, thereby encouraging heart health awareness and heart attack prevention tactics for both women and men.

Join American Heart Month celebration. Let’s join hands to generate more awareness about CHD.