Question: Can I be reimbursed for interpreting my patient’s
12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) rather than the cardiologist?
Answer: Absolutely, if you perform the work required.
Except in special circumstances, Medicare will pay for only one interpretation and report for each ECG. Because this should be the reading that contributed to the patient’s diagnosis and treatment, we recommend you collaborate with your cardiology colleagues to determine how billing will be handled. Ideal documentation would include the indication, a description of the findings, your interpretation, and comparison(s) to previous ECGs, when available. There is no rule specifying you must have your report on a separate page of the electronic health record, but carving it out as a separate report within your ED note is strongly recommended.
CPT code 93010 is valued at 0.17 relative value units and has a Medicare allowable of $8.64. Each individual ECG doesn’t reimburse much, but when you consider that perhaps more than 10 percent of your patients end up having an ECG, it can certainly add up. See ACEP’s X-Ray-ECG FAQ page for more details.
Brought to you by the ACEP Coding and Nomenclature Committee.
Dr. Friedenson is chair of ACEP’s Coding and Nomenclature Committee and chief medical officer of Reventics in Denver.