Understanding Nuclear Imaging Accreditation

Many practices have questions about the process and cost of accreditation and reimbursement for imaging before offering nuclear imaging services. As a manufacturer of nuclear cameras, and a provider of diagnostic services, Digirad has a deep understanding of the accreditation process. Below are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about nuclear imaging accreditation.

Do I need to be accredited to be reimbursed?
Yes. Practices that offer advanced imaging services, including nuclear imaging, are required to be accredited to receive reimbursement.

How long does the accreditation process take?
The typical accreditation process is completed in an average of 3 to 6 months. Applying for accreditation requires a variety of tasks, including purchasing the camera, hiring qualified staff, and establishing the proper procedures and protocols.

Digirad is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). When practices use Digirad’s nuclear imaging accreditation services, the accreditation process is completed in 1 to 2 months. During that time, practices are covered by Digirad’s provisional accreditation umbrella. This umbrella accreditation allows practices to immediately begin billing for their imaging services and to become eligible for reimbursement.

Can I use a consultant, and what are the fees associated with a consultant?
Using a consultant can be a costly option. The base application fees for accreditation can cost up to $3,300. Many practices seeking accreditation on their own will need a consultant to assist with the process. Consultant fees can range from $10,000 to $15,000. Digirad’s tiered pricing approach to accreditation reduces these fees by more than half of the cost to apply independently.

How do I get started?
Digirad brings more than ten years of accreditation service experience to our clients. We handle the application process for the practice site location and reading physicians, and while the practice’s accreditation is pending, Digirad’s provisional accreditation covers the practice.

Digirad also provides our clients with Reimbursement Support as a supplemental service. This ensures that any issues encountered during the accreditation process are addressed.

Digirad’s nuclear imaging accreditation services also provide practices with the appropriate equipment and knowledgeable staff so that your practice’s nuclear imaging can be successful for your patients and your business.

How long does it last?
Accreditation lasts 3 years. However, your practice is required to maintain accreditation during this time, and quarterly quality assurance meetings are arranged to review the program. This allows your practice and Digirad to work together to take steps to improve any necessary areas. The accrediting association performs at least 1 audit per 3-year period to maintain the highest level of service, so keep in mind that maintaining accreditation is an ongoing effort.


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