echocardiogram, Medicare, coverage

Does Medicare Cover Echocardiograms?

An echocardiogram is a test that uses of sound waves to make pictures of the heart, in order to check for abnormalities, holes, blood clots, and more. A medical technician passes a probe across your chest, which picks up sounds waves from your heart, much like an ultrasound. The process is a simple outpatient procedure.

As long as an echocardiogram is ordered by a doctor for treating a medical problem, Medicare Part B will cover it. Medicare Part B will also cover an echocardiogram as part of your one-time Welcome to Medicare doctor visit.   

What is the cost?

An average echocardiogram costs between $1,000 and $2,000. Medicare Part B will cover 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount of this diagnostic test. The Part B deductible applies. You may also owe a copayment to the hospital or clinic.

If you have Medicare Advantage or a Medigap plan, it may cover more of the costs than Original Medicare.

When would you need an echocardiogram?

Cases in which a doctor might order an echocardiogram are to:

  • Diagnose reasons for shortness of breath or chest pain
  • Check for problems in the outer lining or large blood vessels of the heart
  • Detect blood clots or holes
  • See if your heart has been damaged by a heart attack
  • Check whether you have valve disease or a heart murmur

If you are experiencing unusual fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, chest pain, dizziness, swelling, or a racing heart, it could be a heart problem. Contact your doctor to schedule an echocardiogram.

For more information on what Medicare covers for echocardiograms, call Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users call 1-877-486-2048.

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