Field questions on ancillary services for cardiovascular disease here.
A: Several ancillary services can be provided in a primary care physician's office that make it more convenient for patients to be monitored if they are at risk for cardiovascular disease. In the October 9, 2009, Coding Cues column, I mentioned several things that could be implemented, such as supervised weight loss with nutrition counseling and exercise classes. Overall good health promotion (including bone density studies, encouragement for good dental care, and other components) is an important part of disease prevention or progression.
In addition to those items, patients already exhibiting symptoms of cardiovascular disease may be candidates for Holter monitor testing, echocardiograms, carotid and peripheral vascular Doppler studies, vascular ultrasounds, and other testing.
You must navigate several fraud and abuse and anti-kickback issues to provide these services to your patients from your practice. A good healthcare attorney who is knowledgeable about those issues can review the details of any arrangement you want to enter into with an outside provider and can guide you to eliminate any potential for liability.
Medical Economics consultant Virginia Martin, CPC, CHBC, has more than 30 years of experience as a practice management consultant and also is a certified coding specialist, certified compliance officer, and certified medical assistant. Do you have a coding question for our experts? Send it to email@example.com