With an objective to generate widespread awareness about cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and their global impact, September 29 is observed as “World Heart Day” all over the world. An initiative by the World Heart Federation (WHF), the international campaign aims to spread public attention about cardiovascular diseases, (including heart disease and stroke) and their prevention. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) including strokes is responsible for half of all non-communicable diseases, making it the world’s number one killer. On an average, more than 17.9 million people die from heart-related illnesses every year. This figure is more than that of people who die from HIV, malaria, and cancer. The 2020 month-long international campaign is the perfect platform for the CVD community to unite in the fight against CVD and reduce the global disease burden. The exact factors causing CVD are unknown. However, a combination of factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol can increase the risk of getting heart disease. Incorporating healthy lifestyle habits that give equal importance to diet and physical exercise can help prevent the occurrence of these cardiovascular diseases in the long run. As different types of CVDs exist, the diagnosis, treatment, and billing and coding aspects can be challenging. Medical billing services for cardiovascular diseases require better understanding of the existing codes and documentation/reimbursement guidelines.

A general term for conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels, CVD is caused by the build-up of fatty deposits inside the arteries. It can lead to heart attack, chest pain (angina), stroke, coronary artery disease, mitral regurgitation, pulmonary stenosis atrial fibrillation and more. Symptoms of CVD may often vary and depend on the specific condition. Typical symptoms include – pain or pressure in the center of the chest, shortness of breath, nausea and fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, cold sweats and pain or discomfort in the arms, left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back. The 2020 campaign aims to educate people that by controlling potential risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80 percent of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke can be avoided.

Diagnosis of CVD depends on the type of heart disease and the severity of symptoms. As there is no single and definite test that fully diagnoses the condition, cardiologists may conduct a physical examination and a detailed medical history analysis or review before performing any diagnosis tests. Imaging tests such as Electrocardiogram (ECG), Echocardiogram, stress test, Holter monitoring, Cardiac catheterization, Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan and Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to diagnose the type and severity of heart disease. In addition, blood tests and a chest X-ray may also be performed to study the condition so that it can be treated more effectively. Treatment options for CVDs include – medications, cardiac rehabilitation (including exercise prescriptions and lifestyle counseling) and surgery (like coronary artery bypass grafting or valve repair or replacement surgery). The screening and diagnostic tests performed as part of the treatment procedures must be correctly documented using the right medical codes. Professional medical billing and coding companies can ensure this. Billers and coders in such reputable companies will have a thorough knowledge about the related medical codes and payer-specific guidelines essential for correct billing and optimal reimbursement. ICD-10 codes to show CVD diagnosis include –

I50 – Heart failure

  • I50.1 – Left ventricular failure, unspecified
  • I50.2 – Systolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.20 – Unspecified systolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.21 – Acute systolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.22 – Chronic systolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.23 – Acute or chronic systolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.3 – Diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.30 – Unspecified diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.31 – Acute diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.32 – Chronic diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.33 – Acute or chronic diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.4 – Combined systolic (congestive) and diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.40 – Unspecified combined systolic (congestive) and diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.41 – Acute combined systolic (congestive) and diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.42 – Chronic combined systolic (congestive) and diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.43 – Acute or chronic combined systolic (congestive) and diastolic (congestive) heart failure
  • I50.8 – Other heart failure
  • I50.81 – Right heart failure
  • I50.810 -Right heart failure, unspecified
  • I50.811 – Acute right heart failure
  • I50.812 – Chronic right heart failure
  • I50.813 – Acute or chronic right heart failure
  • I50.814 -Acute or chronic right heart failure, due to left heart failure
  • I50.82 – Biventricular heart failure
  • I50.83 – High output heart failure
  • I50.84 – End stage heart failure
  • I50.89 – Other heart failure
  • I50.9 – Heart failure, unspecified

The initial idea for observing World Heart Day (WHD) first came from Antoni Bayés de Luna, president of World Heart Federation (from 1997-1999), in the year 1999. The WHF in association with the World Health Organization (WHO) first announced the program to be observed as an annual event on the last Sunday in the month of September 2000. Over the span of 13 years, WHF announced a number of other initiatives which stressed and spread awareness about cardiovascular diseases.

But, WHF decided to fix -“September 29” as a separate day for this observance in the year 2013. More than 90 countries participate in WHD and this day has become the biggest global-awareness raising campaign for cardiovascular health. Every year, both governmental and non-governmental organizations all over the globe observe this day where in a wide range of activities related to heart health are organized.

The 2020 WHD observance theme is – “Use Heart to Beat CVD”. The theme signifies the need to understand what it takes to live a heart healthy life and to act on that knowledge on changing behavior for a better quality of life now and in the future. A wide range of events or activities will be conducted across the globe as part of observance. Healthcare organizations across the world will be hosting several community and clinical activities, health checks, public talks, and exhibitions to create awareness about screening and treatment for CVD. In addition, landmarks, monuments, and famous buildings across the world will go red on this day as a symbol of cardiovascular disease awareness. WHD posters, infographics and videos will be displayed in waiting rooms and resources will be shared via social media platforms.

Celebrate World Heart Day on September 29. Take preventative measures to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.