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I want to get paid for my work. I deliver great customer service and high quality noninvasive vascular testing. Don't get me wrong….I can be charitable too. But, I have expenses to cover. The same is true for my employer. Because we want to get paid, it is important to monitor for changes in reimbursement. In this post, I will look at Local Coverage Determinations, or LCDs. An LCD is a determination by a Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) that defines coverage for a particular service in the contractor's jurisdiction. LCDs must be consistent with all statutes, rulings, regulations, and national policies for coverage, payment, and coding....
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As promised, this post will look at a website used to find, review and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register . In January 2003, Regulations.gov was launched to provide public users access to federal regulatory content. In the past, if members of the public were interested in commenting on a regulation, they would need to know the sponsoring agency, when it would be published, review it in a reading room, and then adhere to the comment process specific to each agency. Regulations.gov removed the logistical barriers that made it difficult for a citizen to participate in the complex regulatory...
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One powerful source of knowledge is the internet. As I have learned about reimbursement, I have found some websites particularly helpful. I will spend time covering these over the next several posts. Check them out! The first site I want to share is for the Federal Register . The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. It is updated daily by 6 a.m. and is published Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. As the Chair of the SVU Advocacy committee, I monitor this site daily. I have...
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One thing I find very confusing, when dealing with reimbursement and practice management issues, is the use of acronyms. There are so many of them!! I like to keep a list of them handy, so I can update and refer to them as needed. This is my current list. I will use these acronyms in future posts, and I will try to elaborate on them as appropriate. Hopefully, you will find this list useful. A ABN – Advanced Beneficiary Notice ACA – Affordable Care Act, also called PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) ACO – Accountable Care Organization ALOS – Average Length of Stay APC – Ambulatory Payment Classification...
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Welcome to my blog! As the incoming Chair of the Advocacy committee, my goal is to learn as much as I can about the matters or issues facing the vascular community. The blog is my way of sharing what I have learned. In order to advocate, or support a particular cause or policy, I need to hear from you! Each month, I will introduce a topic related to Advocacy. January's topic is "Reimbursement". Some questions I will attempt to answer are: What is an APC? What changes were made to HOPPS APC? How does that affect our reimbursement? What happened to code 93965? G0389/76706? What is an LCD? How do I find my LCD? What is Coding Advisor? ...
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As a first time conference attendee, I didn’t realize how tight-knit the vascular community was! I was impressed with everyone’s welcoming nature, and I was happy to have made some amazing memories with my teachers, friends and many other technologists there! Before I mention the list of everything that I learned, I wanted to thank SVU for giving me this amazing opportunity. No only did I learn so much, but I also met so many people that are there to help and encourage me in my journey to become a vascular sonographer! Without further ado…here we go with that list! I learned… Where exactly to measure that carotid artery IMT. How plaque...
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I hope that everyone had a blast at the Hands-on session that took place on the second day of the conference, I know I sure did! There were so many sessions that I personally benefitted from. I have some pictures below for you to see what it looked like! I liked Kayla Weiseckel’s booth, where I learned to look for soleal and gastroc veins. She gave us a few tips and tricks to find them, such as looking for them in the mid calf and then moving proximally to their origin. Next, I visited the Proper Cuff Placement booth by Paula Walsh, who showed us how to place the cuffs, where to place them, and how to make them stay. I’m very new at this and when I place my...
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Today was the last day of the conference and boy, was it a good one! We started the day off with the Young Professional panel, where the discussion was geared towards the newer technologists. Kayla Wieseckel talked a lot about transitioning from a student to a sonographer, which was particularly helpful for a student like me. Next, Dr. Polak and Ann Marie Kupinski did an amazing job talking about multiple modalities such as CTA and MRA, how they work, what the pros and cons are and finally, related them to a few cases. Those cases were amazingly done and taught us a lot about how to read them! Next, various awards were given out to several physicians, technologists...
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Day 2 of the conferences was power packed with great case presentations about popliteal artery stents, TCD collateral flow and pediatric arterial trauma. Topics such as research in ergonomics, AAA repairs, mesenteric ischemia, and the educational role of sonographees were covered as well. It was great to see a lot of vendors come with different reporting systems and ultrasound machines. I started off the morning in technology theatre. I rotated through the various vendors to get a brief overview of what they had to offer. In the late morning I was able to walk around and talk to several vendors about their product as well as demo the machines. It was great...
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Today was the first day of the conference and so many exciting and amazing events took place. To begin with, a keynote address took place. Dr. Eugene Zierler MD RPVI , took us on “An Interprofessional Odyssey” where he talked about the beginnings of vascular ultrasound (image below). He talked a lot about the vascular technology correlating well with vascular surgery. He also mentioned ARDMS and the history behind the organization. He received an award with a standing ovation today at the conference for his research on the clinical applications of noninvasive diagnostic techniques for vascular disease. Just within that first hour, I learned a lot from Dr....
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Nothing beats the picturesque view of the Chicago sky line and the best way to experience this is through the architectural boat tour. So get your cameras ready for this amazing tour. Along with this captivating view comes a guide that will give you a lot of great history about the buildings and the city along the Chicago River. If the weather doesn’t cooperate there is an indoor lounge where you can still enjoy the view and tour. A cash/credit card bar with an assortment of beverages and snacks is also available on the boat to enhance your viewing experience. You can check out the website for further details at www.wendellaboats.com .
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Welcome to the SVU 2016 Annual Conference! My name is Amina Ahmed and I’m here to give you a couple of tips for this upcoming event, but before that I’m going to give you a couple of tidbits about me as your guide… I’m a Vascular Sonographer in the Chicagoland area. I am an alumni of Rush University as well as Edward Cardiovascular Institute for Cardiac Sonography. I feel that the SVU conference is a great opportunity for educational and professional advancement. In the past it has helped me with networking when I was new to the field. Now I feel that it has enhanced my education as well as kept me up to date on the latest research. I hope your experience...
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The Chicago Scene

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The Chicago Scene The possibilities of places to go and things to do are endless in the summertime. Here are some suggestions from a Chicago native…. If you are the sight-seeing kind of person… 1. Millenium Park: this area has so many great things to see from the beautiful landscaping to the Crown Fountain, which is water wall with interactive video art. Don’t forget about the famous Bean. This is a ten minute walk from the hotel. 2. The Chicago Cultural Center is another site you don’t want to miss. An eight minute walk from the hotel will lead you to the beautiful Tiffany ceilings and grand staircases within the center....
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Hello SVU members! Welcome to Chicago, it’s great to have you! Chicago’s food scene is the one of the best in the world – every type and flavor of food is so readily available in this amazing city. My personal favorite is breakfast food. I can eat breakfast food all day, every day! I love a good omelet with some roasted potatoes and a cup o’ Joe in the morning. If I’m not seen eating breakfast food, you’ll probably find me at a local Mexican place eating tacos with lots of salsas! Below, I’ve listed some restaurants that are fairly close to the hotel. I mapped each one out for your convenience, so each location should be less than a 15-minute walk from...
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For those of you who don’t know too much about me, I am Kruti Soni. I’m currently a student at Rush University, enrolled in the vascular ultrasound program. Since I mentioned Rush, I have to give a shout-out to all of my amazing teachers there for teaching us so much, in such little time! I just started my clinical rotations and I have to say, it is exhausting! As excited as I was for my rotations, I realized there is still so much I don’t know. While I was ready to apply all the theory that I learned, I learned that it is not always what it looks like. While Rush University did an amazing job in teaching me so much about the vascular world, there...
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Calf Veins Quick Reference Guide ) Don’t panic – they are only veins – you’ve been looking at them for years. ) To begin, place your probe in the transverse position at the base of the gastrocnemius muscle medially – this is usually the best view of the four vessels.The posterior tibial veins are nestled near the tibia bone and are more anterior than the peroneal veins.The peroneal veins lie posterior to the posterior tibial veins somewhere between the tibia and fibula. ) Once you’ve identified the vessels, perform compressions to the knee and again from the base of the gastrocnemius muscle to the...
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Most techs see the order for a venous insufficiency study and cringe. What follows is a simplified approach to the exam. I hope it's helpful. Chris Venous Insufficiency Duplex Imaging A simplified guide Christine A. Unger, RVT, RPhS Perform a full DVT study - be sure to measure the diameter of the SFJ and SPJ (if applicable) during compressions to avoid having to come back and do them again. Be observant: while in the groin scan up and down looking for accessory saphenous veins as well as the location of the proximal thigh GSV. While in the popliteal fossa observe the presence or...
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Resume Examples

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When applying for a job, the first thing is to make a good first impression by the way of your resume. A resume must be strong and stand out among competition. When it's your time to start applying for jobs, resume building can be tricky. There are so many examples of resumes available that are pertinent to healthcare in general but not to vascular technology and sonography. There is also a lot of mixed advice out there on what to include in your resume such as how many exams you observed and performed, your GPA, previous non-healthcare work history, patient care experience and the list goes on. Ultimately, each student and new graduate has to make their own...
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I had such a great time and learned a lot at the 2015 SVU Annual Conference, I cannot wait to go again next year! Here are 5 things that I learned while visiting Las Vegas for the conference: I learned that the east-coast and west-coast do indeed do things differently. On the final day of the conference there was a debate regarding the value of PVR and segmentals. I am a west-coaster, so I tend to lean toward that line of thinking. However, I do see the value in ABI’s and using them as a screening tool before doing a full lower extremity arterial. ECA, CCA and SCA criteria are hard to find. Heather Gornik did an amazing job finding criteria...
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Looking Back

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The 2015 Annual Conference was such a success! I learned a lot and met so many amazing people, from first year students to leaders that are moving into retirement. I encourage you to spend the next few months thinking about interesting cases and topics that you would like to present and keep your eyes open for the abstract submissions to open later this year. As the 2015 Student Board Representative, this was a big weekend. The day before the Annual Conference we have an annual board meeting that lasts all day. At this meeting, we share and receive updates about special projects and action items. We have guests from different credentialing and accreditation...
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