Local Coverage Determination (LCD)

EEG – Ambulatory Monitoring


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Contractor Information

LCD Information

Document Information

LCD Title
EEG – Ambulatory Monitoring
Proposed LCD in Comment Period
Source Proposed LCD
Original Effective Date
For services performed on or after 10/01/2015
Revision Effective Date
For services performed on or after 01/01/2020
Revision Ending Date
Retirement Date
Notice Period Start Date
Notice Period End Date
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CMS National Coverage Policy

Language quoted from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), National Coverage Determinations (NCDs) and coverage provisions in interpretive manuals is italicized throughout the policy. NCDs and coverage provisions in interpretive manuals are not subject to the Local Coverage Determination (LCD) Review Process (42 CFR 405.860[b] and 42 CFR 426 [Subpart D]). In addition, an administrative law judge may not review an NCD. See Section 1869(f)(1)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act.

Unless otherwise specified, italicized text represents quotation from one or more of the following CMS sources:

Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (SSA):

Section 1862(a)(1)(A) excludes expenses incurred for items or services which are not reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member.

Section 1862(a)(7) excludes routine physical examinations, unless otherwise covered by statute.

Section 1833(e) prohibits Medicare payment for any claim which lacks the necessary information to process the claim.

Code of Federal Regulations:

42 CFR, Section 410.32, indicates that diagnostic tests may only be ordered by the treating physician (or other treating practitioner acting within the scope of his or her license and Medicare requirements) who furnishes a consultation or treats a beneficiary for a specific medical problem and who uses the results in the management of the beneficiary's specific medical problem. Tests not ordered by the physician (or other qualified non-physician provider) who is treating the beneficiary are not reasonable and necessary (see Sec. 411.15(k)(1) of this chapter).

Coverage Guidance

Coverage Indications, Limitations, and/or Medical Necessity


An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a diagnostic test that measures the electrical activity of the brain (brainwaves) using highly sensitive recording equipment attached to the scalp by fine electrodes. It is used to diagnose neurological conditions.

EEGs can be recorded by ambulatory cassette. Ambulatory cassette-recorded EEGs offer the ability to record the EEG on a long-term, outpatient basis. Electrodes for at least four (4) recording channels are placed on the patient. The cassette recorder is attached to the patient’s waist or on a shoulder harness. Recorded electrical activity is analyzed by playback through an audio amplifier system and video monitors.

Ambulatory EEG monitoring may facilitate the differential diagnosis between seizures and syncopal attacks, sleep apnea, cardiac arrhythmias or hysterical episodes. The test may also allow the investigator to identify the epileptic nature of some episodic periods of disturbed consciousness, mild confusion, or peculiar behavior, where resting EEG is not conclusive. It may also allow an estimate of seizure frequency, which may at times help to evaluate the effectiveness of a drug and determine its appropriate dosage.


  • Inconclusive EEGs;
  • Experiencing episodic events where epilepsy is suspected but the history, examination, and routine EEG do not resolve the diagnostic uncertainties;
  • Patients with confirmed epilepsy who are experiencing suspected non-epileptic events or for classification of seizure type (only ictal recordings can reliably be used to classify seizure type (or types) which is important in selecting appropriate anti-epileptic drug therapy;
  • Differentiating between neurological and cardiac related problems;
  • Adjusting anti-epileptic medication levels;
  • Localizing seizure focus for enhanced patient management;
  • Identifying and medicating absence seizures;
  • For suspected seizures of sleep disturbances;
  • Seizures which are precipitated by naturally occurring cyclic events or environmental stimuli which are not reproducible in the hospital or clinic setting.

Ambulatory monitoring, however, is not necessary to evaluate most seizures, which are usually readily diagnosed by routine EEG studies and history.


  • Study of neonates or unattended, non-cooperative patients;
  • Localization of seizure focus/foci when the seizure symptoms and/or other EEG recordings indicate the presence of bilateral foci or rapid generalization.
Summary of Evidence


Analysis of Evidence (Rationale for Determination)


General Information

Associated Information
Sources of Information

This bibliography presents those sources that were obtained during the development of this policy. National Government Services is not responsible for the continuing viability of Web site addresses listed below.

Other contractor local coverage determinations (LCDs) - NHIC, Corp. (L26878) and Novitas Solutions, Inc. (L32717)



Revision History Information

Revision History DateRevision History NumberRevision History ExplanationReasons for Change
01/01/2020 R4

Due to annual CPT/HCPCs updates and the expansion of the new CPT codes, which now cover greater than 24 hours, the title has been changed in addition to minor revisions to the Abstract in order to remove the language specific to 24 hour monitoring.

  • Revisions Due To CPT/HCPCS Code Changes
09/12/2019 R3

Consistent with Change Request 10901, all coding information, National coverage provisions, and Associated Information (Documentation Requirements, Utilization Guidelines) have been removed from the LCD and placed in the related Billing and Coding Article, A57030. There has been no change in coverage with this LCD revision.

  • Revisions Due To Code Removal
10/01/2015 R2 Minor formatting change.
  • Other
10/01/2015 R1 The ICD-10-CM version of the LCD has been updated to incorporate changes in the ICD-9-CM version.
  • Provider Education/Guidance

Associated Documents

Related Local Coverage Documents
A57030 - Billing and Coding: EEG – Ambulatory Monitoring
Related National Coverage Documents
Public Versions
Updated On Effective Dates Status
12/20/2019 01/01/2020 - N/A Currently in Effect You are here
Some older versions have been archived. Please visit the MCD Archive Site to retrieve them.


  • EEG
  • 24 Hour Monitoring
  • Electroencephalogram

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