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2009s Cardiology Billing Changes are Significant

2009s Cardiology Billing Changes are Significant


2009's Cardiology Billing Changes are significant

by Carl Mays II

Is your cardiology billing department prepared for the 2009 coding changes? If not, it could cost your cardiology practice a great deal of money.

2009 brings some of the most significant coding changes cardiology has seen in over 15 years.

While the average physician will see slightly over a 1% increase in Medicare fees, Cardiologists will see a 2% reduction in fees. This is mainly the result of lower payments for office-based imaging.

As a result some cardiology practices will see revenue decreases far exceeding the average 2% (particularly the offices heavily dependent on echo services). Other cardiovascular services may experience increases if properly managed.

Some of the 2009 cardiology coding changes are:

- All of the codes previously used to submit charges for implanted device follow-up have been deleted and replaced with new codes. Not only have the old codes been replaced, but they have been replaced with a more updated code set that provides codes for checks of devices with leads in 3 chambers, codes specific to a remote (internet) device check, codes for following ICM devices, codes for periprocedural checks, etc.

- Global periods related to device follow-up now include global periods of 30 or 90 days. The new codes are now service specific (i.e., either an interrogation evaluation of a programming evaluation).

- 2009 also brings codes specific to a wearable cardiac telemetry device such as a Cardionet type service. This is the end to billing with the unlisted procedure code; but there is a catch here too. These codes also have global days.

- Codes that bundle multiple echo services under a single code have been introduced. Examples include a single CPT for bundling an echo with both a Doppler and color flow and a stress echo CPT that bundles both the stress test and stress echo.

As the examples above demonstrate, the magnitude of this year's cardiology billing changes are more significant that has been seen in recent years. Without proper education, cardiology billing training, software upgrades and billing resources cardiology practices may see marked reductions in collections and increases in AR.

Copyright 2009 by Carl Mays II

About the Author:
Make sure your practice is prepared for these sweeping Cardiology Billing changes by visiting the Cardiology Billing Partners website (www.cardiologybilling.com). Stay on top of the latest cardiology billing and coding news by visiting the Cardiology Billing Blog.

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