The field of ultrasound consists of a variety of specialties; general, cardiac, ob/gyn, ophthalmic, and vascular ultrasound. Vascular ultrasound, as is the case with all of the other disciplines of ultrasound, requires considerable training and a high level of skill. The degree of specialization required to perform competent and diagnostic studies is perhaps best demonstrated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ recognition that personnel performing vascular ultrasound studies should be appropriately certified and/or working in an accredited laboratory. Currently, such requirements are in place in 26 states as a prerequisite to submission of claims for payment to the Medicare program.
Personnel certification and lab accreditation, however, should only be viewed as establishing minimum level competency. When evaluating where to send your patients in need of noninvasive vascular testing, a number of other factors should also be considered in deciding where your needs and the needs of your patients can be best served.