Cardiovascular Screening: Combating the World’s #1 Killer

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  • September 27, 2019
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Cardiovascular Screening: Combating the World’s #1 Killer

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer today, but it doesn’t need to be this way.

September is National Cholesterol Education Month and September 29 is World Heart Day. These observances raise awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD), cholesterol, and stroke, encouraging individuals, families, communities, and governments to take action now. Join the movement and become a heart hero to ensure you and those around you are living longer better heart-healthy lives. The first step is understanding cholesterol and the importance of cardiovascular screening.

Heart Health Equity for All

World Heart Day, a World Heart Federation initiative founded in 2000, is the world’s biggest platform for raising awareness about CVD. On Sept. 29, thousands of activities and events will be organized around the world to spread the word about how to combat the devastating effects of CVD. Together we have the power to reduce the burden of, and premature deaths from, CVD.
National Cholesterol Education Month is a good time to make sure you, your loved ones, and your patients are getting blood cholesterol checks and taking steps to lower it if it’s high. Make sure you and those around you understand lipid profiles and how food and lifestyle choices can help in the attainment of personal cholesterol goals.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in our bodies and many foods. We need it to function properly, and luckily the body makes all that we need. Too much cholesterol can build up and form deposits that narrow arteries, which can double a person’s risk of heart disease.
More than 102 million American adults aged 20 years or older have elevated total cholesterol levels above what is considered healthy. Of these, more than 35 million have levels so high, it puts them at high risk for heart disease and stroke.
Many people are unaware that their cholesterol is high because elevated levels usually don’t cause symptoms early on. Fortunately, all it takes is going to the doctor and getting a simple blood test to check cholesterol levels. Medicare covers this CVD screening test, called a lipoprotein profile or lipid panel, which measures total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, HDL “good” cholesterol, and triglycerides. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every 5 years.

A Simple Promise … for MY HEART, for YOUR HEART, for ALL OUR HEARTS

CVD is the leading cause of death and disability in the world, claiming 17.9 million lives a year. That’s a third of all deaths on the planet and around 85% of these deaths are due to heart disease and stroke. Predictions estimate that by 2030, this will rise to nearly 23 million.
World Health Day is about educating and empowering everyone from individuals to communities and governments to take action. It’s about making a promise to take steps towards living a healthy, active life and asking, “What can I do right now to look after my heart … and your heart?” Individuals must take control of their own health, governments must work to fully understand the scale of the problem by investing in CVD monitoring, and countries need to implement population-wide interventions to reduce CVD.

How to Live Longer, Better, More Heart-healthy Lives

Looking after your heart means taking small but meaningful actions — eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, reducing alcohol intake, quitting smoking — all the things that make you not only healthier but also able to enjoy your life to the fullest. By making just a few small lifestyle changes, it is possible to not only reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke but also improve your quality of life and set a good example for the next generation. Through raising awareness and sharing knowledge, recommendations, and strategies we can inspire each other to become more heart-healthy.

Coding CVD Screening Tests

Medicare covers CVD screening for beneficiaries every five years (59 months after the last screening test), regardless of the presence of apparent signs or symptoms of cardiovascular disease. There is no deductible or coinsurance/co-payment for the lipid panel screening test.
CPT® Codes
80061 Lipid panel – Must include the following:

  • 82465  Cholesterol, serum, total
  • 83718  Lipoprotein, direct measurement, high density cholesterol (HDL cholesterol)
  • 84478  Triglycerides

The ICD-10 diagnosis code to support CVD screening is Z1.6 Encounter for screening for cardiovascular disorders.
For more information see National Coverage Determination 210.11

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery – CCVTC

Stacy Chaplain

About Has 75 Posts

Stacy Chaplain, MD, CPC, is a development editor at AAPC. She has worked in medicine for more than 20 years, with an emphasis on education, writing, and editing since 2015. Prior to AAPC, she led a compliance team as director of clinical coding quality for a multispecialty group practice. Chaplain received her Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Texas at Austin and her Medical Doctorate from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She is a member of the Beaverton, Oregon, local chapter.

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