Preparing for 2015

We are winding down to the end of the year, with daily publication taking a break after Dec. 24 and resuming Jan. 5, 2015. As you enter the New Year, here are a few things to consider.

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) are helping members prepare for coding changes, some set to begin on Jan. 1. SCAI held an hour-long session on Dec. 15 for members that detailed coding and payment changes. The ACC has been surveying its members to gauge their readiness of ICD-10.

Probably one of the biggest achievements for 2015 is a new specialty designation for interventional cardiologists: C3. Electrophysiologists have enjoyed a special designation for a while now, SCAI presenter Peter Duffy, MD, explained in the session. Duffy is chair of SCAI’s advocacy and government relations committee and a director at FirstHealth of the Carolinas Reid Heart Institute at Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, N.C.

The specialty designation allows for fair comparisons of peers in quality metrics. Interventional cardiologists can switch to C3 but it will require action on their part. They must instruct their local carriers to make the change, which will then update their profile.

The ACC shared results from a poll of members about the transition form ICD-9 to ICD-10 codes. The transition has been rescheduled to go live on Oct. 1, 2015, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services encourages healthcare organizations to budget in nine months for the conversion.

The ACC’s survey found that 65 percent of respondents didn’t have a handle on the new requirements. Selecting proper diagnosis codes, documenting patient encounters and comparing date between the two code sets topped the concerns of many.

The ACC and SCAI are making resources available to help cardiovascular specialists, coding staff and administrators journey through these changes. If you want to take advantage of these opportunities, make a resolution now to take the initiative.

Happy holidays and a peaceful New Year.  

Candace Stuart

Editor, Cardiovascular Business