FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma) Exams

May 31, 2018

Question:
We routinely do FAST studies as part of the work-up for trauma patients.  Can the trauma surgeon bill for these studies?

Answer:
Yes, the trauma surgeon may report/bill for these studies if two criteria are met.  First, the ultrasound equipment used must be capable of retaining a permanent image.  Next, the physician must document these studies in a separate paragraph of the EM note, describing the structures visualized and the findings in each. Describing the results of these studies in the text of the EM note is not sufficient to report and bill these separately.

*This response is based on the best information available as of 05/31/18.

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