In the United States, the process has become convoluted over time, with many overlapping, competing private-sector agencies.
In 1989, the federal government set the requirement for Medicare reimbursement to be authorized exclusively for ultrasound procedures conducted by credentialed individuals. Private insurance providers followed suit, and several states have enacted laws to restrict the practice of medical ultrasound solely to credentialed practitioners.
The vast sum of government and private health care funding ensures that this mix of authoritarian agencies will continue to evolve and what follows represents only a current understanding (at the time of this publication) current policies. Consult with your specialized medical practice’s legal counsel for present-day, accurate information pertaining to your Service.
Each agency has a specific prerequisite pathway for each of its exams; no one agency has preeminence above another regarding compliance with federal reimbursement for the specific service provided under its credential.
Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) credentials cardiovascular allied health professionals in noninvasive and invasive cardiovascular procedures, including ultrasound. CCI was the first credentialing agency to achieve credentialing as such by the National Association of Credentialing Agencies.
The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS, originally the American Society of Ultrasound Technical Specialists) offers separate credentials in every area of sonographer practice.
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) credentials registered radiology technicians in general and vascular ultrasound.
The Alliance for Physician Certification & Advancement (APCA) credentials qualifying physicians in the separate areas of POC ultrasound, vascular ultrasound interpretation, MSK ultrasound, nuclear cardiology, and cardiovascular computed tomography.
In 1991, the similar beginnings of provider-facility-credentialing were launched and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission today continues to advance the integrity and quality of patient care in a number of patient-care divisions, including cardiovascular ultrasound.