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INDEX:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Effective Date: 08/01/2010 Title: Obstetrical Ultrasound
Revision Date: 01/01/2020 Document: BI272:00
CPT Code(s): 76801, 76802, 76805, 76810, 76811, 76813-76821, 76825-76828, 76812
Public Statement

Effective Date:

a)    This policy will apply to all services performed on or after the above revision date which will become the new effective date.

b)    For all services referred to in this policy that were performed before the revision date, contact customer service for the rules that would apply.

1)    Up to three (3) fetal survey ultrasounds will be covered without prior authorization. Additional ultrasound examinations will require demonstration that all ultrasounds performed were specifically medically indicated.

2)    Doppler velocimetry, fetal echocardiography, and fetal Doppler echocardiography require preauthorization. For fetal genetic testing, please see BI205.


Medical Statement

1)    Up to three (3) Level 1 fetal ultrasounds will be covered per pregnancy without preauthorization. More than three (3) Level 1 fetal ultrasounds per pregnancy will require preauthorization.

2)    All other fetal ultrasounds, including fetal echocardiography, Doppler velocimetry, and biophysical profiles, require provision of medical records to demonstrate specific medical necessity for each ultrasound performed.

Fetal echocardiography, fetal Doppler echocardiography and Doppler velocimetry require preauthorization.

3)    A Level 2 ultrasound will be covered between 16–22 weeks for:

a)    Women of advanced maternal age (over 35); or

b)    Women with personal history of, or a first degree relative with a history of, babies with congenital birth defects;

c)    Women with known or suspected exposure to teratogens;

d)    Women with preexisting or gestational diabetes;

e)    Suspected anomaly on the basis of history or laboratory abnormalities.

4)    For fetal genetic testing, see BI205.

5)    For women with diabetes, the following ultrasounds are indicated:

a)    First trimester scan for viability and accurate dating;

b)    Level two ultrasound between 16–22 weeks gestation

i)   For women determined at a later date to be gestational diabetics, a level two ultrasound will be approved even if a previous routine scan has been performed;

c)    Fetal echocardiography between 20–24 weeks gestation

i)   For women determined at a later date to be gestational diabetics, fetal echocardiography will be approved;

d)    Serial fetal growth assessments during the third trimester if clinically indicated. Such indications include previous macrosomia or IUFD, excessive fetal growth as documented by fundal measurements, or poor glucose control.

6)    For women with known multiple gestation the following ultrasounds are indicated:

a)    First trimester screening scan (typically at 11–14 weeks) to evaluate anatomy and chronicity;

b)    Level 2 ultrasound between 16–22 weeks;

c)    Ultrasound to monitor growth every 4–6 weeks after 22 weeks

i)   If discordant growth or IUGR is discovered, more frequent scans may be necessary;

ii)  For monochorionic twins, ultrasound every 2–3 weeks beginning at 24 weeks.

7)    Additional Level 1 ultrasounds are covered when one of the following is present and the result of the exam will directly impact the care of the patient:

a)    History of prior high risk pregnancy or obstetrical complications; or

b)    Presence of high risk factors (e.g., maternal diabetes, malnutrition or drug addiction); or

c)    Uncertain gestational age in third trimester; or

d)    IUGR (serial exams will be covered every 2–4 weeks); or

e)    Suspected abnormalities of pregnancy, as listed in the table below:

·         Hydatidiform mole

·         Ectopic pregnancy

·         Polyhydramnios or oligohydramnios

·         Placenta Previa or abruptio placenta

·         Vaginal bleeding of undetermined origin

·         Cervical cerclage placement in incomplete cervix

·         Abnormal amniocentesis studies

·         Pelvic pain in early pregnancy

·         Threatened or missed abortion

·         Congenital malformations, fetal or parental

·         Suspected fetal demise

·         Gynecologic or other pelvic mass

·         Instrument guidance related to necessary procedures

·         Previous abnormal ultrasound

·         Suspected abnormal presentation of fetus

 

8)    Level 2 ultrasound examinations are covered as outlined below:

a)    When fetal abnormalities are suspected after other obstetrical ultrasounds;

b)    For suspected toxoplasmosis;

c)    When IUGR is suspected on the basis of discrepancy between fetal size and estimated age.

9)    Fetal echocardiography is covered with preauthorization for any one of the following:

a)    A Level 2 ultrasound is suspicious for cardiac anomaly or when other fetal cardiac

disease is suspected. 

Familial Indications

·      Maternal history of a congenital heart defect (CHD)

·      Maternal autoimmune conditions with antibodies affecting the fetus (i.e., Lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome)

·      Maternal metabolic conditions with potential to affect cardiac development (i.e., Diabetes, Phenylketonuria [PKU])

·      Maternal exposure to teratogenic substances (i.e., medications, drugs, solvents or known environmental risk factors)

·      Maternal viral infections during pregnancy with potential to have cardiac effects (i.e., parvo, coxsackie, cytomegalovirus, rubella)

·      Pregnancies conceived with ART/IVF (assisted reproductive technology/ in-vitro fertilization)

·      Paternal history of congenital heart defect

o   First-degree relatives with congenital heart defects

·      Syndromes with Mendelian inheritance associated with congenital heart disease (i.e., Marfan, DiGeorge,Williams, Noonan, Holt-Oram, Ellis-van Crevald, familial cardiomyopathies

Fetal Indications

·      Abnormal Appearing Fetal Heart (i.e., structure, position or axis)

·      Fetal Cardiac Arrhythmias

·      Fetal Hydrops

·      Situations with Increased Fetal Cardiac Output

o   Arterio-venous malformations

o   Teratomas

o   Twin-twin transfusion

o   Twin reversed arterial perfusion (TRAP)

o   Disease processes causing fetal anemia

·      Suspected or Confirmed Abnormal Fetal Karyotype

·      Extracardiac Fetal Disease or Extracardiac Fetal Abnormality

·      CNS Abnormalities

o   Hydrocephalus

o   Dandy-Walker malformation

o   Agenesis of the corpus callosum

·      Mid-line Defect

o   Cleft lip/palate

·      Thoracic Abnormalities

o   Diaphragmatic hernia

o   Tracheo-esophageal fistulae

·      GI Abnormalities

o   Esophageal, duodenal or other suspected bowel atresia’s

o   Omphaloceles

o   Gastroschisis

·      Renal and Genitourinary Anomalies

·      Two-vessel Umbilical Cord

·      Increased Nuchal Lucency between 10–14 weeks gestation

10)   Serial fetal echocardiography may be covered in selected cases.

11)   In pregnancies with established IUGR, Doppler velocimetry will be covered weekly with preauthorization as part of fetal monitoring.

12)   Fetal biophysical profiles, with or without non-stress testing, will be covered when required to monitor at-risk fetuses.

Codes Used In This BI:

76801

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, fetal & matrnl eval, 1st trimester (<14 weeks 0 days), trnsabd approach; sgl or 1st gestation

76802

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, fetal & matrnl eval, 1st  trimester (<14 weeks 0 days), trnsabd approach; ea addtl gestation (add-on code)

76805

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, fetal & matrnl eval, after 1st trimester (> or = 14 wks 0 dys), trnsabd approach; sgl or 1st gestation

76810

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, fetal & matrnl eval, after 1st trimester (> or = 14 wks 0 dys), trnsabd approach; ea addtl gestation (add-on code)  

76811

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, fetal & matrnl eval plus detailed fetal anatomic exam, trnsabd approach; sgl or 1st gestation

76812  Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, fetal & matrnl eval plus detailed fetal anatomic exam, trnsabd approach study for each additional fetus

76813

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, 1st trimester fetal nuchal translucency msrmnt, trnsabd or trnsvag approach; sgl or 1st gestation

76814

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, 1st trimester fetal nuchal translucency msrmnt, trnsabd or trnsvag approach; ea addtl gestation (add-on code)  

76815

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, limited, 1+ fetuses

76816

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, f/u, trnsabd approach, per fetus

76817

Ultrasound, pregnant uterus, real time w/img doc, trnsvag

76818

Fetal biophysical profile; w/non-stress testing

76819

Fetal biophysical profile; w/out non-stress testing

76820

Doppler velocimetry, fetal; umbilical artery

76821

Doppler velocimetry, fetal; middle cerebral artery

76825

Echocardiography, fetal, cardiovascular system, real time

76826

Echocardiography, fetal, cardiovascular system, real time, f/u or rpt study

76827

Doppler echo, fetal, pulsed wave and/or continuous wave w/spectral display

76828

Doppler echo, fetal, pulsed wave and/or continuous wave w/spectral display; f/u or rpt study


Limits

1.     Ultrasounds are not considered medically necessary if done solely to determine the fetal sex, or to provide parents with a view and photograph of the fetus.

2.     Ultrasounds are not considered medically necessary if done solely to determine dating in the first trimester.

3.     More than one detailed (level two) fetal anatomic examination per practice per pregnancy is considered experimental and investigational, as there is inadequate evidence to determine the clinical utility of repeated detailed ultrasound in pregnancy.

4.     3D and 4D ultrasounds are considered experimental/ investigational as there is insufficient peer reviewed studies to demonstrate effectiveness.


Background

Uterine ultrasonography during pregnancy is performed to evaluate the internal contents of the uterus (i.e., gestational sac, placenta and fetus). Images are created by the reflection (echo) of high frequency sound waves directed at the uterus and surrounding tissues. Endovaginal sonography is also a clinically useful tool. Ultrasound is commonly performed during pregnancy, either to assess the gestational age or to evaluate fetal size, position, heartbeat, congenital malformations, suspected multiple fetuses or placental abnormalities. Two-dimensional ultrasound is most commonly used.

Real time three-dimensional (3-D), four-dimensional (4-D) ultrasound or dynamic ultrasound involve computer-“generated images viewed on a video monitor that provide more detail and can produce almost life-like images of the fetus”

Common medical practice includes an ultrasound exam during the 18 to 22 week period. Standard obstetrical ultrasound is 2-D. “Routine second-trimester ultrasonography detected more neural tube defects than did maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein and should be reassessed as a part of standard prenatal care.” (Norem, C., Schoen, E., et al: Obstet Gynecol 106:747-52, 2005)

SMFM has determined that no more than one fetal ultrasound with detailed anatomic examination is necessary per pregnancy, per practice, when medically necessary (SMFM, 2004).  Once this detailed fetal anatomical exam is done, a second one should not be performed unless there are extenuating circumstances with a new diagnosis.  The SMFM has stated that it is appropriate to repeat the detailed fetal anatomical ultrasound examination when a patient is seen by another maternal-fetal medicine specialist practice, for example, for a second opinion on a fetal anomaly, or if the patient is referred to a tertiary center in anticipation of delivering an anomalous fetus at a hospital with specialized neonatal capabilities.

Ultrasonography in pregnancy should be performed only when there is a valid medical indication.  ACOG (2009) stated, "The use of either two-dimensional or three-dimensional ultrasonography only to view the fetus, obtain a picture of the fetus, or determine the fetal sex without a medical indication is inappropriate and contrary to responsible medical practice." 

Ultrasound use for fetal scanning is generally considered safe if properly used when information is required about a pregnancy. However, ultrasound is a form of energy and even at low levels, some studies have shown that it can produce physical effects in tissue, such as jarring vibrations and rise in temperature. Although there is no evidence that these physical effects can harm a fetus, the existence of these effects means that prenatal ultrasound cannot be considered completely harmless (U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA], 2004). There is increasing concern regarding the use of ultrasound solely for the purpose of providing enhanced photographs and videos of a fetus.

 


Reference

1)    Ji EK, Pretorius DH, Newton R, et al. Effects of ultrasound on maternal-fetal bonding: A comparison of two- and three-dimensional imaging. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2005; 25(5):473-477.

2)    Benacerraf BR, Shipp TD, Bromley D. How sonographic tomography will change the face of obstetric sonography: A pilot study. J Ultrasound Med. 2005; 24(3):371-378.

3)    Benacerraf BR, Shipp TD, Bromley B. Improving the efficiency of gynecologic sonography with 3-dimensional volumes: A pilot study. J Ultrasound Med. 2006; 25(2):165-171.

4)    Benacerraf BR, Shipp TD, Bromley B.  Three-dimensional US of the fetus: Volume imaging. Radiology. 2006; 238(3):988-996.

5)    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Health Care for under deserved Women; ACOG Committee on Obstetric Practice. ACOG committee opinion. Number 316, October 2005. Smoking cessation during pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2005; 106(4):883-888.

6)    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Committee on Practice Bulletins -- Obstetrics. Ultrasonography in pregnancy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 98. Washington, DC: ACOG; October 2008.

7)    Clinical Practice Obstetrics Committee; Maternal Fetal Medicine Committee, Delaney M, Roggensack A, Leduc DC, et al. Guidelines for the management of pregnancy at 41+0 to 42+0 weeks. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2008; 30(9):800-823.

8)    Chen M, Lee CP, Lam YH, et al. Comparison of nuchal and detailed morphology ultrasound examinations in early pregnancy for fetal structural abnormality screening: A randomized controlled trial. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2008; 31(2):136-146; discussion 146.

9)    American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Committee on Practice Bulletins -- Obstetrics. Ultrasonography in pregnancy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 101. Washington, DC: ACOG; February 2009.

10)     ACOG Committee on Practice Bulletins -- Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin: Clinical management guidelines for obstetrician-gynecologists number 92, April 2008 (replaces practice bulletin number 87, November 2007). Use of psychiatric medications during pregnancy and lactation. Obstet Gynecol. 2008; 111(4):1001-1020.

11)     Yagel S, Cohen SM, Messing B, Valsky DV. Three-dimensional and four-dimensional ultrasound applications in fetal medicine. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2009; 21(2):167-174.

12)     Chen M, Wang HF, Leung TY, et al. First trimester measurements of nasal bone length using three-dimensional ultrasound. Prenat Diagn. 2009; 29(8):766-770.

13)     Kurjak A, Abo-Yaqoub S, Stanojevic M, et al. The potential of 4D sonography in the assessment of fetal neurobehavior -- multicentric study in high-risk pregnancies. J Perinat Med. 2010; 38(1):77-82.

14)     Pasquini L, Wimalasundera RC, Fisk NM. Management of other complications specific to monochorionic twin pregnancies.  Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2004; 18(4): 577-599.

15)     Roque H, et al. Perinatal outcomes in monoamniotic gestations. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2003;13(6):414-421

16)     ACOG. Practice Bulletin #56: Multiple gestation: complicated twin, triplet, and high-order multiple pregnancy.  Obstet Gynecol. 2004;104(4):869:883 (Reaffirmed 2009)

17)     Cunningham FG, et al. Multifetal pregnancy. In Williams Obstetrics (23rd ed.) (pp. 859-889) (2010)

18)     Kjos SL, et al. Antepartum surveillance in diabetic pregnancies: predictors of fetal distress in labor. Am J OBstet Gynecol. 1995;173(5):1532-1539

19)     Dicker d, et al. Fetal surveillance in insulin-dependent pregnancy: predictive values of the biophysical profile. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1998;159(4):800-804

20)     Friedberg MK, Silverman NH. Changing indications for fetal echocardiography in a University Center population.  Prenat Diagn. 2004;24(10):781-786

21)     American Diabetes Association. (2004). Gestational diabetes mellitus. Retrieved June 30, 2004, from the National Guideline Clearinghouse at http://www.guideline.gov.

22)     American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG Committee on Practice Bulletins (with Gabbe, S.G.). (2005). Pregestational diabetes mellitus. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 60.

23)     American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG Committee on Practice Bulletins (with Rouse, D.J.). (1999 Reaffirmed 2009). Antepartum fetal surveillance. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 9.

24)     Resnik, R. (2009, March). Fetal Growth Restriction: Evaluation and Management. Up-to-date Online. Retrieved September 4, 2010 from http://www.utdol.com.

25)     American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Committee on Educational Bulletins of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (Reaffirmed 2008). Intrauterine growth restriction. ACOG Educational Bulletin No. 12. In 2003 Compendium of selected publications (pp.384-395).

26)     American College of Radiology (ACR), Expert Panel on Women’s Imaging. (2001). Growth disturbances: Risk of intrauterine growth restriction. Retrieved September 29,2003 from http://www.acr.org/s_acr/bin.asp?TrackID=&SID=1&DID=11859&CID=1201&VID=2&DOC=File .PDF

27)     Leeman L, Fontaine P. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. American Family Physician 2008;78(1):93-100


Application to Products

This policy applies to all health plans and products administered by QualChoice, both those insured by QualChoice and those that are self-funded by the sponsoring employer, unless there is indication in this policy otherwise or a stated exclusion in your medical plan booklet.  Consult the individual plan sponsor Summary Plan Description (SPD) for self-insured plans or the specific Evidence of Coverage (EOC) or Certificate of Coverage (COC) for those plans or products insured by QualChoice.  In the event of a discrepancy between this policy and a self-insured customer’s SPD or the specific QualChoice EOC or COC, the SPD, EOC, or COC, as applicable, will prevail.  State and federal mandates will be followed as they apply.


Changes: QualChoice reserves the right to alter, amend, change or supplement benefit interpretations as needed.
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