Most employers already require the ultrasound technician to have a registration with ARDMS. Now there are growing numbers of insurance companies requiring ultrasound modalities to be accredited by recognized organizations also. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its affiliated HMO added ultrasound to the list of procedures requiring accreditation before provider reimbursement will be approved. The ultrasound practice accreditation must be awarded by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) or the American College of Radiology (ACR). Anthem is requiring accreditation for each piece of equipment used in the delivery of ultrasound examinations.
Ultrasound practice providers must meet the requirement by March 31, 2014. The change reflects the growing importance of delivering only quality ultrasound modalities. The AIUM is a voluntary peer review process that enables physician practices to show they are able to meet or even exceed standards recognized on a national basis concerning the delivery and interpretation of ultrasound procedures. Participating in the accreditation process encourages providers to employ continuous improvement strategies in areas of Human Resources, documentation, instrumentation and patient care.
AIUM offers practice accreditation in most ultrasound specialties, including:
- General and abdominal
- Fetal echocardiography
- Dedicated musculoskeletal
- Thyroid and parathyroid
It should be noted that AIUM is adding accreditation of head and neck specialties effective July 1, 2014.