Advance for Health Information Professionals: “Take Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery to Heart”

In learning that a loved one has suffered a heart attack, a family’s first reaction is to locate a reputable cardiologist to guide the care and recovery of its family member. The same logic is, with increasing frequency, being applied in the arena of medical coding, as physician specialists enlist the assistance of coding professionals with specific expertise related to their particular area of focus.

One thing is for sure: medical coding for cardiovascular and thoracic surgery isn’t for the faint of heart. This line of medical practice involves some pretty hefty procedures, such as coronary artery bypass, angiography and bronchoscopy, with equally weighted price tags. There is no room for mistakes–not by the physician, not by whomever is documenting the procedure, and not by the coder deciphering the documentation using CPT, ICD-9-CM and HCPCS Level II codes.

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