Certifications, Reimbursement and Lab Accreditation Updates

EchocardiographyEver changing certification, lab accreditation and reimbursement standards for echocardiography and vascular ultrasound can be confusing and hard to keep up with. To help out we’ve bundled it up, listed useful links to the right resources and summarized the key points to help answer all those burning questions.


Recertification:

Did you know; if you currently hold a certification from the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) you will not be required to begin taking the recertification exam until 2019 and will not have to pass it until 2022?

This includes all RDMS, RVT and RDCS registered Technologists. For all new certifications earned after January 1, 2012, you will have to take your recertification exams starting 10 years after you have acquired your credential.
* for more information regarding recertification and credentialing, please visit www.ardms.org


Reimbursements:

Did you know; reimbursement requirements for Medicare varies from state to state?

Several states require either lab accreditation and/or sonographer/physician credentialing for reimbursement. This applies to echocardiography and non-invasive vascular studies.

Full policy details and individual state reimbursement directive can be found on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) website.

To find a payment policy, go to www.cms.gov/mcd/overview.asp and follow these instructions:

  1. Click on Advanced Search
  2. Under Search by Document Type, check Local Coverage Documents
  3. Under What documents types do you want to search for? Check All Policies (LCD) and then Final Policies
  4. Select Geographic Area (State) AND/OR Contractor Criteria
  5. Type the testing area you are searching for (i.e., noninvasive vascular) or the LCD ID # into Enter Keyword(s) box and choose Title
  6. Click Search by Type box
  7. A page will appear asking you to accept the Terms & Conditions, Click Agree
  8. A new page will open with your search results

Additional information on reimbursement for individual states can found on the ICAVL website for vascular reimbursement and the ICAEL website for echocardiography.


Lab Accreditation:

Did you know; by 2017 ICAVL (Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories) requires all technical staff to be registered to comply with lab accreditation?

Appropriate credentialing: RVT (Registered Vascular Technologist) from the ARDMS, RVS (Registered Vascular Specialist) from CCI or RT (VS) (Registered Technologist Vascular Sonography) from the ARRT.

Additional information on credentialing can be found at www.ardms.org, www.cci-online.org , or www.arrt.org

Did you know; that ICAEL (Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories) is changing their physician requirements?

All physicians who do not have level 2 or 3 echocardiography training must pass the NBE (National Board of Echocardiography) by 2015 to comply with ICAEL accreditation. The purpose of the NBE is to establish the domain of the practice of echocardiography for the purpose of certification, assess the level of knowledge demonstrated by a licensed physician practitioner of echocardiography in a valid manner, enhance the quality of echocardiography and individual professional growth in echocardiography, formally recognize individuals who satisfy the requirements set by the NBE, and serve the public by encouraging quality patient care in the practice of echocardiography.

For more information on the NBE please visit www.echoboards.org

Training Level

Cumulative Duration
of Training

Minimum Number of
Examinations Performed

Minimum Number of
Examinations Interpreted

Level 1

3 months

75

150

Level 2

6 months

150 (75 additional)

300 (150 additional)

Level 3

12 months

300 (150 additional)

750 (450 additional)

Additional information on reimbursement for individual states can be found on the ICAVL website for vascular reimbursement and the ICAEL website for echocardiography.