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New Requirements for Noninvasive Vascular Testing

Effective May 1, 2010, physicians, IDTFs and other Part B Suppliers furnishing Non-invasive Vascular Testing in Michigan must comply with new training and certification requirements. In part, the policy, as set forth in a new LCD, states:

A. Training and Certification

1. The accuracy of non-invasive vascular diagnostic studies depends on the knowledge, skill, and experience of the technologist and interpreter. Consequently, the physician performing and/or interpreting the study must be capable of demonstrating documented training and experience and maintain any applicable documentation. A vascular diagnostic study may be personally performed by a physician or a technologist.

“The GAO Report to Congressional Committees entitled Medicare Ultrasound Procedures. Consideration of Payment Reforms and Technician Qualifications Requirements states that “Findings from several peer-reviewed studies, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, and ultrasound-related professional organizations support requiring that sonographers either have credentials or operate in facilities that are accredited, where specific quality standards apply. In some localities and practice settings, CMS or its contractors have required that sonographers either be credentialed or work in an accredited facility.” (GAO-07-734)

2. All non-invasive vascular diagnostic studies must be performed under at least one of the following settings:

a. performed by a physician who is competent in diagnostic vascular studies or under the general supervision of physicians who have demonstrated minimum entry level competency by being credentialed in vascular technology, or b. performed by a technician who is certified in vascular technology, or c. performed in facilities with laboratories accredited in vascular technology.

3. One or more technologists in each vascular laboratory must be certified by a credentialing board recognized by the Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL) or the National Council for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or the International Standards Organization (ISO) 17024).

4. Laboratories may be certified by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories. Certification of the laboratory itself supersedes the requirement for certification of individual technologists.
If a certified technologist supervises technologists who are not certified, the certified RVT must: provide direct supervision; and sign the record of the test and attest to the quality of the examination.

Physicians and Independent Diagnostic Testing Facilities–including mobile facilities–must ensure that their technicians, medical directors, and supervision protocols meet the above guidelines, and that billing documents reflect that. For assistance ensuring compliance with these and other rules governing IDTFs, please contact Adrienne Dresevic, Esq. or Carey F. Kalmowitz, Esq. at (248) 996-8510. You can also find additional information on the HLP’s specialty page for Diagnostic Imaging Arrangements.

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