ICAEL – Echo Accreditation
ICAEL – Echo Accreditation
Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories
Currently ICAEL is the only accrediting organization offering Echocardiography Accreditation.
The ICAEL provides laboratory accreditation specific to echocardiography testing. ICAEL accreditation is offered in the following testing areas:
- Adult Transthoracic
- Adult Transesophageal
- Adult Stress
- Pediatric Transthoracic
- Pediatric Transesophageal
The Accreditation Process
ICAEL accreditation is made up of two crucial steps.
1. Self-evaluation using the ICAEL Standards
Staff members are encouraged to make any necessary changes to the laboratory’s operations to ensure at a minimum, substantial compliance to the Standards before proceeding to completion of the application.
2. Completion of the application and submission of actual case studies for review
The case studies and final reports are crucial in determining the laboratory's compliance with the Standards, and are the basis for judgment of the quality of work that laboratories perform.
For more information on ICAEL refer to their website: http://www.icael.org/icael/index.htm
Echo Accreditation and Reimbursement
Currently echocardiography is NOT considered an advanced imaging modality and accreditation is NOT required by CMS under the new Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) that becomes effective on January 1st, 2012.
Although accreditation is not required through the new MIPPA act, there are several states in which the Medicare carrier and/or private insurers require either accreditation of the laboratory and/or sonographer credentialing, for echocardiography reimbursement. Medicare communicates echocardiography payment policy primarily through contractor-specific Local Coverage Determinations (LCDs). These policies are changed and updated and for the most current information we recommend contacting Medicare directly. (These numbers are available through your hospital or laboratory's billing department.)
You can also find Medicare payment policies at: www.cms.gov/mcd/overview.asp and follow these instructions:
- Click on Advanced Search
- Under Search by Document Type, check Local Coverage Documents
- Under What documents types do you want to search for? Check All Policies (LCD) and then Final Policies
- Select Geographic Area (State) AND/OR Contractor Criteria
- Type the testing area you are searching for (i.e., noninvasive vascular) or the LCD ID # into Enter Keyword(s) box and choose Title
- Click Search By Type box
- A page will appear asking you to accept the Terms & Conditions, Click Agree
- A new page will open with your search results
For additional reimbursement requirements refer to ICAEL’s website.
For state specific Medicare reimbursement information click here: http://icael.org/icael/main/policies_medicare.htm
For private insurance companies and third party insurer reimbursement information click here: http://icael.org/icael/main/policies_private.htm