WASHINGTON, December 13, 2010 – The Heart Rhythm Society, the international leader in science, education and advocacy for heart rhythm professionals and patients, has received notification that the Society’s request for a physician specialty code for cardiac electrophysiology has been approved by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).
Cardiac electrophysiology, or the study of heart rhythm disorders, is the fastest growing of all the cardiovascular disciplines. Electrophysiologists are cardiologists who have additional education and training in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms. Until now, there has been no mechanism for CMS to accurately distinguish cardiac electrophysiologists from other cardiologists in the Medicare claims database. The new physician specialty code designation will allow CMS to collect data on the work and practice expenses of electrophysiologists to more accurately measure use of physician resources and track patient treatment across episodes of care.
“The new physician specialty code is a major achievement for the Heart Rhythm Society and the field of electrophysiology,” said Douglas L. Packer, MD, FHRS, president of the Heart Rhythm Society. “The new code will allow for the reporting of the involvement of two specialty physicians providing distinct services to an individual patient and will enhance our efforts to improve the quality of care for people living with heart rhythm disorders.”
The new designation code goes into effect on April 4, 2011.