It is OK for one specialist to request a consult from another specialist in the same group/specialty (in this case EP is a sub-specialty) if the second specialist has a certain expertise, which the first one does not have. I believe that is the case here, since the EP doc specializes beyond the general cardiologist. The documentation must meet all the requirements for the consult, so even if some of the stuff seems redundant, if it is done it should be documented. The second specialist has to get to know the case, so the information is not redundant to him/her. Your level will depend on your documentation. Remember, if it is not documented it is not done. Since they share the medical record, your requirement of reporting back is fulfilled.
Keep in mind, all consult requirements must be met, there must be a request! If the general cardiologist sends the patient to the EP doc for treatment that is not a consult. If s/he requests an opinion on the treatment, that satisfies the request requirement.
To Kumeena: I am not familiar with a rule that hospitals cannot bill for consults - could you please give a source for this? If you are referring to the discontinued follow-up consults for inpatient, then yes, you would use the daily care codes for that.
Karolina, CPC, CPMA, CEMC