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Take the AACVPR CCRP Exam this Spring at the MSCVPR Annual Conference!

The Michigan Society for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation is proud to host the AACVPR Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation Professional (CCRP) exam at MSCVPR Annual Conference at the Doubletree Hotel in Bay City, Michigan on Friday April 17, 2015!

 AACVPR will honor the promotional pricing of $249 for AACVPR members and $299 for non-members for all candidates who take the exam at the MSCVPR Annual Conference on Friday April 17, 2015!

 Applications for the exam will be accepted through the AACVPR website on December 10th, 2014. You must apply for the exam by the stated deadlines on the AACVPR website in order to sit for the exam.

 Download the Candidate Handbook, free of charge, to learn more about the exam content, eligibility requirements and preparation resources or purchase the CCRP Study Guide at The Study Guide will help you focus your preparation on the content included on the professional certification exam blueprint outline.


Another Year with Nutrition Quest

MSCVPR has renewed its contract with Nutrition Quest.  All Michigan cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs interested in having the rights to the Fat and Sodium Screener can pay $75 to MSCVPR and have both screeners for the next year.  This year runs from November 1, 2014 – October 31, 2015.

If you need an invoice for your facility, please contact our treasurer Patrick at:

What’s New on the Website

We have added a few new things to the website for you to check out.  All of the 2013 board meeting minutes have been added for our members to read.  You will find them posted under the resources tab on the website.


The 2013 fall update from the president will be email to all members this week.  You can also find a copy here as well

2013 Fall Presidential Update

Sodium QI Project

It’s not too late to get involved in this quarter’s QI project

The Quality Initiative (QI) project for 2013 was developed to assess and improve outcomes related to the intake of sodium in a patient’s diet. The goal is to screen as many people as possible. To date in September, 17 facilities are participating in this outcomes project and completed an initial one day mass screening of their patients between August-September. The participating programs then implemented an initiative such as an education lecture or handouts. Of those that have reported initial data already, approximately 588 patients have been screened. Initial combined data received for 376 patients showed compliance with the recommended goal of 1500 mg of sodium averaging just above 20%.

If your program is interested in being a part of this initiative, it is not too late to join! MSCVPR will extend participation by allowing interested programs to complete screenings in October and December, using October as pre-initiative data and December as post-initiative data. The next mass screening period is scheduled to occur from October 14th – October 25th. All programs are highly encouraged to be a part of this important project, as current data indicates the majority of patients would benefit from strategies to lower their sodium intake.

The next all-programs outcomes conference call is scheduled for October 8th, 2013 from 12 – 1pm (EST). To participate in this call please use the conference call number (605) 475-4000, participant code 242242.


CMS Website

For those of you who have questions regarding Medicare coverage for cardiac or pulmonary rehab, there is clear documentation on the CMS website: 

You can also check on the AACVPR website for information as well.  

If you are still having trouble you can contact our MAC representative Donna Donakowski for further assistance at


MSCVPR has an Email Address

We are happy to announce that MSCVPR now has their own e-mail address:  If you have any questions or if you are looking for information, please feel free to send us an email and we will get back to you.

Summer Internship Opportunity

An opportunity for a college internship. The Summer Internship Program at Urban Science / ChannelVantage provides interns with the opportunity to participate in meaningful work in the heart of downtown Detroit. Interns are paired with a formal mentor, attend various lunch and learns with senior leadership, volunteer for a day in the community, participate in optional social events via the After 5 Intern Program, and conclude their summer with a formal presentation highlighting their project experience. For more information click here.

Need Help with your AACVPR Certification

Donna Donakowski, who is on the AACVPR certification committee, has very generously offered her knowledge and time to help any program who may be in need.  Big or small questions or concern, she is available to help with your AACVPR certification or re-certification process.

Send her an email at:

Cheboygan is now McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital

Announcing the reopening of cardiac rehab in Cheboygan, which is now part of the McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital. The Phase III program was reopened in July and Phase II was reopened in October. The program is staffed by Phyllis Tule, RN ( and Rebecca Godfrey, CES ( You can contact them at (231) 627-1458 or by fax at (231) 627-1457. Wishing you both great success!

MAC Update

“Medicare 101″ is an AACVPR online course designed to assist cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation professionals to better understand Medicare reimbursement- the terminology of CMS and regulations surrounding their guidelines. The course is subtitled “Best Practice Essentials- Navigating Medicare” and imperative for any cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation manager or anyone affiliated with billing and programmatic decisions at an institution. More information on this course can be found on the members’ only reimbursement section of the AACVPR website.

For those needing complete first hand documentation of Medicare Regulations for Cardiac Rehabilitation, the following articles should provide the most up to date and comprehensive discussion of all aspects of the cardiac rehab Medicare billing process:

Medicare Claims Processing Manual, Chapter 32, Section 140

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Cardiac Rehab: 42 CFR 140/49

CMS Change Request 6850, May 12, 2010

As a reminder, Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation are not under “Rehabilitation Services”. We have our own Medicare Benefit Category.

42 CFR 410.49 outlines the 6 eligible diagnosis for cardiac rehab- Acute MI, CABG, Stable Angina, Heart Valve Repair or Replacement, PTCA and/or Stent, Heart or heart-lung transplant. Heart Failure is not yet accepted by CMS as reimbursable diagnosis, but is covered by Michigan BC/BS and HAP, possibly Aetna. LVADs will be covered if a tricuspid valve annuloplasty is also done (v 43.3).

The recommendation from AACVPR is that a PTCA/Stent which is planned “sequential” interventions should be considered as ONE diagnosis, in other words ONE CR course. AACVPR feels that payers do not clearly see these as separate events, so could be confusing to attempt separate events/separate course of rehab.

Regarding coding and billing- The CMS Change Request 6850 provides clear instructions for billing cardiac rehab services. This document was sent to all providers in May 2010 and is posted on the AACVPR website if further review is needed by your billing department. This document goes into great detail regarding use of codes 93798 and 93797 as well as duration of program allowance. It does outline that patients are expected to attend minimum of one session per week, but does allow for rare various absences- illness, family urgency, vacation, but all absences should be documented on your records. Utilization of either 93798 or 93798 requires some exercise every day, but not every session. In order to bill for two sessions of cardiac rehab, the sessions must last more than 90 minutes, but CMS does not specify how many minutes must be exercise. Further examples for use of 93798 and 93797 can be found in CMS change request 6850. (Reminder: Always check with non-Medicare Payers if CPT code 93797 is covered for counseling or non-ECG monitored exercise “as Medicare regulations do.”)

Use of KX Modifier in Cardiac Rehab was specifically stated in the CMS change request 6850 document. CMS does not limit the total lifetime visits of cardiac rehab (as with Pulmonary), but a KX modifier is required for any CR sessions beyond the first 36 visits the patient had received as a Medicare beneficiary. It is very; very rare to receive extensions of one course of cardiac rehab beyond 36 visits, but a new course of CR for eligible diagnosis in later months/years is not uncommon. The CMS Common Working File (CWF) tracks # of sessions received to date up to 36- then the number remained “frozen”. Providers may access these “provider inquiry screens” to see the patient’s cardiac rehab session history. It is not necessary to use KX modifier before session 36, but is required to use KX modifier after session 36 or the charge will be denied. AACVPR suggested options for billing is to check Provider Inquiry Screen for all Medicare patients prior to enrollment and/or set up a new charge master code with XY attached to start when first set of 36 sessions has been reached.

Use of modifier 59 in Cardiac Rehab is not required per NCCI edits (National Correct Coding Initiative), version 18.1, effective 4-1-12 posted at http://www.cms/gov/nationalcorrectcodinited/ncciep/list.asp#topofpage

In hospital outpatient setting, reimbursement for 93798 and 93797 are the same amount. In a physician owned program, 93797 is roughly half of the reimbursement for 93798. For calendar year 2013 proposed payment rates for hospital outpatient program is expected to be $80 with co-pay of $16 (this can vary regionally so check with your own institution business office departments). Physician owned settings use a different calculation which is typically half the reimbursement of the rate for a hospital setting. This increase in reimbursement for hospital based programs is largely due to initiatives by AACVPR to encourage more accurate cost reporting by institutions on the yearly Medicare Hospital Cost Report, due to the utilization of the cardiac rehabilitation nonstandard cost center. Please ask your business office liaison if they can provide your programs data to CMS as a nonstandard cost center, so this data can be more accurately “pulled” for CMS to find it when forecasting future reimbursement amounts.

Other states in our nation have received denials for missing documentation. Reasons for 25% if these denials were that specified components were not included in the medical record- physician prescribed exercise, cardiac risk factor modification, psycho-social assessment, outcomes assessment and ITP. 15% of the denials were related to “condition required for coverage” of cardiac rehab was not submitted in the medical record and 3.5 % of denials were because medical records were not received in required time frame in response to an ADR (Additional Documentation Requested). Take home point here, it is important to have good relationships with your billing office to insure ADR are not left uncared for resulting in an unnecessary denial. 47% of denials were for direct physician supervision requirement was not being met, i.e. need to provide documentation that physician is present in the facility and immediately available to furnish assistance. AACVPR suggests keeping physician supervision records in the department and place such records in each patient chart in case of CMS audit.

Non-physician Practitioners (NP, PA, CNS) may NOT provide direct physician supervision for CR or PR services. They cannot serve as supervising physician or sign ITPs. CMS needs a technical correction from congress to allow this, AACVPR has initiated senate bill S2057 in order to change the Medicare language to allow NPP’s to provide these roles. AACVPR also recommends physician signature for all cardiac rehab referrals, as the NPP referral option varies based on individual MAC interpretation. If not yet done so, we strongly recommend every AACVPR member write their senator to support S2057. Directions and links are easy and found on the AACVPR website.

Further information on these topics can be found at,html?redirect=/center/coverage.asp or


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