ICD-10 takes effect this week, could bring more claims denials | Study raises concerns about heart health in patients with cancer | Study: Certain trans fatty acids are linked to lower death rates, diabetes risk
September 30, 2015
ASNC SmartBrief
News for nuclear cardiology and cardiovascular imaging professionals

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ICD-10 takes effect this week, could bring more claims denials
US hospitals and private practices will begin using new healthcare billing codes on Thursday. ICD-10 includes 70,000 diagnostic codes and 72,000 procedure codes, up from 14,000 and 4,000, respectively, with ICD-9. Without proper coding, hospitals and doctors won't be fully compensated, and experts are predicting increases in claim denial rates. Providers have spent billions on training. Healthcare Finance News (9/28), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/27)
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Study raises concerns about heart health in patients with cancer
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Researchers who tested the blood of patients with newly diagnosed cancer found high levels of certain hormones and other markers of heart disease, according to a study reported in the journal Heart. The single-center study in Austria found a link between the severity of the patient's cancer and the level of heart-disease-linked hormones, proteins and the chemical troponin, which can indicate damage to the heart. Elevation of any of the blood markers was associated with an increase of 21% to 54% in all-cause mortality. HealthDay News (9/29)
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Medical Focus
Mental stress at any point in life may raise risk of diabetes, CVD, study finds
People who experience psychological distress in childhood, later in life, or consistently over time face elevated risk of diabetes, heart disease or stroke in adulthood, according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers followed over 6,700 people from age 7 to 42, then checked markers of health at age 45. Risks were highest for those who consistently experienced mental stress, but even those who experienced stress only as adults or children faced higher risks. HealthDay News (9/28)
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Study finds sugar-sweetened drinks may raise heart risks
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Drinking one or two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages per day may increase the risk of heart attack, fatal heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, Harvard University researchers reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Nutrition research scientist Vasanti Malik said glucose and fructose, commonly used by manufacturers to sweeten beverages, can damage the heart. Clinical dietitian Marina Chaparro commented that the study coincides with new dietary guidelines that will focus more on sugar than on fat and cholesterol. HealthDay News (9/28)
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Inactivity raises heart, diabetes risks in Hispanics, study says
A study that included more than 12,000 Hispanic adults living in urban areas found those who were the most physically inactive had lower levels of good cholesterol and higher levels of triglycerides and insulin resistance, compared with those who were most active, researchers wrote in the journal Circulation. The research showed that even if people exercised at recommended levels but overall inactivity remained high, the cardiovascular and diabetes risks associated with inactivity persisted. HealthDay News (9/28)
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Regulatory & Policy
Lawmakers push Valeant to explain price hikes
Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee asked Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to issue a subpoena requiring Valeant Pharmaceuticals International to explain why the company increased the prices of two heart drugs by 525% and 212% immediately after acquiring the rights to the drugs. Lawmakers also want Valeant CEO Michael Pearson to testify. Reuters (9/28), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/28)
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ASNC convenes 16 national societies in request to delay AUC program
This week, ASNC led and was joined by 16 national organizations in sending a letter to leaders of the Senate Finance Committee and House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees urging them to delay the Medicare Appropriate Use Criteria Program. In the letter, the organizations conveyed that the current proposed timeline for implementing the Medicare AUC Program for advanced diagnostic imaging tests will not afford physicians adequate time to integrate the program's requirements into their clinical workflow without disruption. Read more.
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New self-assessment module in the ASNC Learning Center
We have just launched a new self-assessment module on Radiation Safety within the Nuclear Cardiology Knowledge Self-Assessment Program. Objectives for this module are to better understand the principles of prevention, mitigation of unintended radiation exposure, how to keep patient radiation dose as low as reasonably achievable in the nuclear cardiology setting, and basic regulations. Please visit our ASNC Learning Center to learn more.
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It is said of money that it is more easily made than kept, and this is true of many things, such as friendship."
-- Samuel Butler,
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