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National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Ambulatory EEG Monitoring (160.22)

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Benefit Category
Diagnostic Tests (other)

Note: This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.

Item/Service Description

Ambulatory, or 24-hour electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring is accomplished by a cassette recorder that continuously records brain wave patterns during 24 hours of a patient's routine daily activities and sleep. The monitoring equipment consists of an electrode set, preamplifiers, and a cassette recorder. The electrodes attach to the scalp, and their leads are connected to a recorder, usually worn on a belt.

Indications and Limitations of Coverage

Ambulatory EEG monitoring is a diagnostic procedure for patients in whom a seizure diathesis is suspected but not defined by history, physical or resting EEG. Ambulatory EEG can be utilized in the differential diagnosis of syncope and transient ischemic attacks if not elucidated by conventional studies. Ambulatory EEG should always be preceded by a resting EEG.

Ambulatory EEG monitoring is considered an established technique and covered under Medicare for the above purposes.