New Strain code is first Echo technology to get Medicare reimbursement in over a decade

As of January 1 2020, cardiologists in the United States can now report and bill for myocardial strain imaging using the new Category 1 CPT code +93356. The policy was announced by Medicare / Medicaid Services (CMS) in November 2019, and is an important milestone as it’s the first echocardiography service to achieve CPT Category 1 status in years.

The new CPT code can be reported in conjunction with various transthoracic echocardiography procedures; 93303, 93304, 93306 and 93308, in addition to stress echocardiography services; 93350 and 93351. The intent is for this code to be reported once per imaging session.

The use of calculating strain as a prognostic indicator of left ventricular function is well on its way to becoming a standard in clinical best practice. Strain has been demonstrated in published studies to be linked with earlier detection and prediction of myocardial damage and risk stratification. Due to the sensitivity of strain in measuring early changes in myocardial function, it is increasingly recognised as a more effective technique than conventional ejection fraction (EF) in detecting subtle changes in left ventricular function.

Up to now, variance in values between vendor solutions has made strain difficult to measure, so it has been slower to adopt. New technologies and advancements in training artificial intelligence models to perform these manual tasks are showing great promise in reducing variability and allowing the full potential of strain quantification to materialize.

Newly FDA-cleared system, EchoGo Core, applies artificial intelligence to echocardiograms to automate strain and assist with identifying decreased left ventricular function. The system automatically sends images for analysis to a secure cloud-based system, which has trained in partnership with the NHS on hundreds of thousands of past clinical examples, to automate and return a report within minutes. Crucially the technology is vendor neutral and can be easily integrated into healthcare sites as part of a zero click workflow.

Physicians in the United States can take advantage of the new reimbursement policy and automated strain analysis,  contact us today to learn more about implementing  strain into your clinical practise.

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