News | May 28, 2007

Medicare Expands Coverage for Ultrasound Diagnostic Procedures

May 29, 2007 — The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on May 25 a decision to provide coverage for Doppler monitoring of cardiac output in certain settings, removing the past noncoverage of this diagnostic test in these settings and adopting an evidence-based approach to healthcare.

“Today’s decision reflects CMS’ commitment to using evidence-based approaches to provide Medicare beneficiaries with reasonable and necessary medical technologies as they evolve through innovation in the marketplace,” said CMS Acting Administer Leslie V. Norwalk, Esq. “As we developed this decision, we used the best available medical evidence-in the form of randomized controlled clinical trials-to re-evaluate our position on this important non-invasive method of caring for patients in intensive care situations.”

CMS will amend the National Coverage Determination (NCD) “Ultrasound Diagnostic Procedures” at section 220.5 of the NCD manual by adding “Monitoring of cardiac output (Esophageal Doppler) for ventilated patients in the ICU and operative patients with a need for intra-operative fluid optimization” to the list of covered uses.

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