A baby’s first picture can be a powerful tool for doctors

| February 20, 2010 | 0 Comments

Kevin J. Dwyer
Tricare Management Activity

The ultrasound image of a baby is more and more often the very first picture new parents have of their child.
Along with giving parents a picture of the growing fetus, these  ultrasound images are also an important tool for the obstetrician caring for both mother and baby.

Tricare covers medically necessary ultrasounds for expectant moms, but does not cover “routine ultrasounds.”
A medically necessary ultrasound is one doctors perform when they have a concern about the progression of a pregnancy.

(Courtesy Photo)Some of the reasons a doctor may order an ultrasound include estimating gestational age, evaluating a fetus’ growth or well-being, and diagnosing a multiple pregnancy.

Doctors can also use an ultrasound to check the condition of a mother and fetus if prenatal care was started late in the pregnancy. These ultrasounds are covered by Tricare.

Some doctors may offer mothers-to-be routine ultrasounds 16 to 20 weeks into their pregnancy, or to determine the sex of the child. These ultrasounds are not covered by Tricare.

If ultrasounds are performed without a valid medical reason, beneficiaries may be responsible for payment.
Tricare strongly recommends mothers-to-be seek appropriate prenatal care.

Tricare Prime covers all necessary maternity care, from the first obstetric visit through six weeks after a baby is born.

Beneficiaries using Tricare Standard and Extra pay their normal deductibles and cost shares for office visits and inpatient maternity care.

For more details and updates on maternity ultrasound coverage, prenatal care and maternity services go to the “Life Events” tab of www.tricare.mil/mybenefit and select “Having a Baby or Adopting.” Or, contact a provider at www.tricare.mil/contactus.

Connect with Tricare at www.twitter.com/tricare or www.facebook.com/Tricare.



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