Heart Health Check medicare

Healthy Heart Check: Helping to prevent a silent killer

Since 1 April 2019 there are two new Medicare item numbers for General Practice dedicated to Heart Health Checks! A Heart Health Check is a regular checkup performed by the nurse and GP. A Heart Health Check helps the patient to understand their risk for heart disease and estimate how likely they are to have a heart attack or stroke in the next five years.

If your patient is 45 years or older (30 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) and have not had a heart attack or stroke, then they are eligible for a Healthy Heart Check under Medicare.

Eligibility

From 1 April 2019 there will be two Medicare Item numbers dedicated to heart health checks. Item 699 is for General Practitioners and Item 177 is for a medical practitioner working in General Practice. The rebate is $72.80 (equivalent to a Level C).

Heart Health Checks are for patients 45 years or older (35 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples), and those who have not had a heart attack or stroke.

To identify these patients who could have a Heart Health Check, probably best to use Pencat or Topbar.

Heart Health Check

According to Medicare, Items 177 and 699 will support patients with cardiovascular disease, or patients at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, to access the heart health assessment through a doctor in general practice. 

The items will fund a heart health assessment, lasting at least 20 minutes, by a general practitioner (699) or a medical practitioner working in general practice (177). The new items will provide patients a comprehensive assessment of their cardiovascular health, identification of any physical or lifestyle-related risks to their cardiovascular health, and a comprehensive preventive health care plan to improve their cardiovascular health.

Discussing heart health checks is Cardiologist Cathie Coleman from St Vincent’s Hospital.

What are the elements of a Heart Health Check?

A Heart Health Check comprises of the following activities:

  • Discussing the patient’s diet, lifestyle, exercise and family health history;
  • Discussing the patient’s overall health, importantly kidney disease and diabetes;
  • Ordering pathology to test the patient’s cholesterol (LDL and HDL);
  • Taking the patient’s blood pressure
  • Developing a plan with the patient, how to improve their diet, lifestyle and exercise.

The Heart Foundation have a good list of questions patients could ask (or the doctor or nurse could cover) here.

Medicare Guidelines

Medicare have released an item description which can be found below. Also Medicare have release the following guidance for billing an item 699 (Heart Health Assessment:

  • Cannot be billed with a Health Assessment (Items 701-707)
  • Only a Health Assessment or a 699 can be billed in a year (not both)
  • Can be billed with a Chronic Disease Care Plan

I have noticed the Medicare item description keeps getting slightly adjusted too, so good idea to keep coming back for the next few weeks.

Heart Health Assessment Template

When recording a Healthy Heart Check in clinical software, the following template may be useful:


Heart Health Check 

(20 minute minimum)

Item 699

Patient presents for Heart Health Check

Description of assessment provided to patient and verbal consent obtained.

ECG completed – Yes/No

BSL taken – Yes/No

BP, height, weight, waist & BMI updated – Yes/No

Does this patient have any of the following:

Family history of cardiovascular disease – Yes/No

Hypertension – Yes/No Medicated – Yes/No

High cholesterol – Yes/No Medicated – Yes/No

Diabetes – Yes/No Controlled – Yes/No

Heart Disease/Condition – Yes/No

Kidney Disease/Condition – Yes/No 

Peripheral Odema – Yes/No

Diet, physical and lifestyle-related behaviours discussed – Yes/No

Smoking – Yes/No (# per day)

Alcohol – Yes/No (how often)

Other risks identified – Yes/No

<<Yes – provide details>>

I have directed this patient to the following website for additional information:

https://www.heartfoundation.org.au


This text can be saved as a shortcut in your clinical software.

I hope this information helps.

K x

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