Cardiologists are rearing to undergo an overhaul of their medical billing and coding processes in 2014 with imminent coding and regular changes around the corner. While some changes will be welcome, some may be a herculean task to absorb in the current billing processes. However, with effective use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and CPMS (Comprehensive Practice Management Solutions) in place, cardiologists will find themselves more than ready to integrate these changes into the existing systems. These changes will be directed mostly by ICD 10 and CPT coding changes, but there will be other regulation and compliance based changes that will reshape the whole structure of cardiology billing.
New diagnosis codes
ICD 10 coding changes are going to introduce new diagnoses codes for both diagnoses and procedures. With the inclusion of another 57000 diagnoses code bringing the total to 70000 and 85000 procedural codes, cardiologists are going to have a busy time identifying the codes rightly. Any form of mis-coding can not only increase the risk of medical audits but also reduce the overall billing efficiency of your cardiology practice. Thus cardiologists will find themselves investing heavily in medical billing staff training on the new coding changes.
Removal of old care codes
Many old care codes which were pertaining to episode cares in ICD 9 coding guidelines have been replaced in ICD 10 codes. Codes in ICD 9 specify procedural codes attached to the episode of care but ICD 10 ignore to mention anything on episode of care. This would in turn mean that cardiology billing service providers are going to struggle with the idea of coding appropriate procedures with right episodes of care. A major change would be the coding for phase of myocardial infraction changing from four weeks to eight weeks.
New combination codes being introduced in ICD 10 coding is also going to be ground breaking in the way coding is done in Cardiology Billing. For instance, atherosclerotic heart disease of native coronary artery with angina pectoris can be coded with a single combination code: I25.11 under ICD 10, whereas it would have taken two separate codes under old ICD 9 coding. This and such other combinations codes will require special attention and would be one of the major changes that cardiologist will have to change in their medical billing processes.
With the baby boomer generation turning over 65 at the rate of 10,000 a day and each one of them getting covered under Medicare services, Cardiologists will be swamped with a Medicare based payers mix and a customer base that will be demanding pay-for-performance services. This is going to be one of the most extensive and inevitable change that cardiologist will have to face in 2014.
With CMS form 1500 getting revised from April 2014 and the new form introducing 8 new diagnosis in the 21st block, cardiology billing is going to undergo some confusion and then would have to transition to the new form.
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