Current Billing and Interpretation for ED Ultrasound Survey

There has been much recent discussion in many of the community chat rooms regarding ED Ultrasound and what is common practice at facilities. The discussions show that there are many different methods of approaching the implementation and launch of this vital service. We surveyed our readers to get their opinions and the responses  are shown in the statistics below. You can participate in this survey by going to:

Q1. Is your group performing ED ultrasound procedures with dedicated ED Ultrasound equipment?

Our group answered 92.5% are performing ultrasound procedures with dedicated ED ultrasound equipment. This is an overwhelming majority and this could be skewed as the people voluntarily participated, so we could have pre-selected only users.

Q2. Is your group billing the ED Ultrasound procedures?

This question shows the dichotomy in working through the billing process.  Only 59% of the group were actually billing for procedures.  This is still a majority of respondents but not as large as expected. Some facilities are treating this as part of the emergency department service with no interpretation or permanent record of the procedure.

Q3. Are the ED Ultrasound images being stored? If so, where?

Many variations in responses with 27% stating no images were stored, 34% were storing on an ED server, 11.5% were storing images on PACS with radiology, 11.5% have an ED PACS system, and 15% still have not worked out the details of what to do with the images.  Totaling the scores here, 42% of those surveyed either did not know what to do with the images or were not storing any information.

Q4. Who is interpreting the ED Ultrasound images? (Please choose only one)

In our survey, 50% responded that they were interpreting the images and 42% said the ED group were doing the interpretations. No interpretations were recorded by 7% of those surveyed and o% reported that the images were interpreted by Radiology.

Q5. Liability and insurance for the ultrasound procedure results are assumed by the following entity:

Of those responding, 23% said that the Healthcare Facility provided coverage. The ED groups rated 38.5% and individuals responded 23%. Those not deciding, 7% along with those ignoring the issue 7%.

ED Ultrasound has been advancing for more than 20 years. The equipment has become more compact and user friendly for the clinical applications of trauma and emergency medicine It should be as common as the stethoscope since it is non-invasive for this application.  The expansion of utilization and the recommendation that screening be performed before other more expensive  technologies are ordered should be at the forefront.  The proliferation of the technology throughout a hospital is a sign board of the efficacy of point of care applications. If the turf battles can be overcome, it’s all aboard!


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