The International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS) applauds the announcement of changes in payment for contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) imaging of the abdomen.
The changes, which will go into effect in the U.S. on January 1, 2019, include a new category I current procedural terminology (CPT) code to support the use of CEUS for noncardiac abdominal imaging.
The American Medical Association CPT codes are used in setting payment for medical procedures in the U.S. Category I codes are only created for procedures or services that will be widely performed in clinical practice, ICUS said. Final Medicare physician payment rules will increase the relative value units for the new CEUS codes. The rules were published in the Federal Register on November 23.
The changes represent an incentive to use CEUS where medically appropriate, providing safe, real-time imaging at a lower overall cost to the healthcare system while also improving patient experiences and hospital workflows, ICUS said.