The CMS this fall will launch new billing codes for doctors who specialize in treating heart failure, rather than mroe general cardiologists billing for Medicare services.
Heart failure specialists receive more concentrated training than standard cardiologists and focus on taking care of patients with advanced heart failure or heart transplants. They treat more complex cases, and will be able to use their own CMS billing codes starting Oct. 1.
The American College of Cardiology and the Heart Failure Society of America had been pushing for the billing privileges, as Medicare had denied specialists' payments when a general cardiologist in the same practice had also made a claim for the same patient.
It's unclear how often the CMS denied these specialist payments, a spokeswoman for the ACC said.
"This is a critical milestone for advanced heart failure and cardiac transplant specialists, validating their critical role and contribution to patient care," Dr. Biykem Bozkurt, chair of ACC's Heart Failure and Transplant Section Leadership Council.