March 17, 2024

POCUS for Family and Internal Medicine

Written by: Lori Green BA, RDMS, RDCS, RVT

POCUS for Family and Internal Medicine

The utilization of Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is rapidly expanding due to technological advancements and the increased availability of portable/ hand-held lower cost ultrasound systems.

POCUS is a quick, focused ultrasound exam performed and interpreted at the bedside by the medical provider. POCUS can be effectively utilized for a variety of applications ranging from abdominal, OB-GYN, cardiac, soft-tissue/MSK, trauma, pulmonary, and procedural guidance. 

POCUS can be used from “head-to-toe” to evaluate a range of medical conditions but can be streamlined depending on the providers’ scope of practice and type of medical facility offering these patient services. 

There is substantial evidence to support POCUS decreases the time to diagnosis and treatment resulting with improved quality of patient care and safety.

What is the Initial Investment and How to Get Started

The initial investment to purchase an ultrasound system for POCUS is relatively low, ranging from $2000 - $15,000 depending on the type of equipment and the number of transducers needed to perform the type of examinations desired.

There are a variety of ultrasound systems available so the first step is to determine which exam(s) will have the greatest impact for your patient population. For example, if you are just beginning as a novice, the clinician may start performing more basic, core examinations initially, then expand the type of exams performed as knowledge, competence, and confidence increases. It can be helpful to purchase the ultrasound system prior to attending a CME ultrasound course to allow the learner to return to their facility and immediately begin performing examinations in order to retain and enhance the skills learned during the program.

Can I Charge for Performing POCUS

There are some misconceptions regarding the providers’ ability to charge for performing an ultrasound examination at the bedside. There are numerous online sites with published CPT codes for ultrasound examinations that can be billed for performing POCUS examinations. It is important to establish an administrative plan to ensure protocols are in place to ensure the documentation requirements are met in order to be reimbursed for the POCUS services provided. Reimbursement is determined by the type of exam performed and the practice setting.

The diagram below provides a framework for providing the required documentation for billing purposes and common reasons for billing denial.

(National Library of Medicine)

The National Library of Medicine- NIH has an excellent resource to obtain billing/coding information HERE

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) also has information pertaining to POCUS documentation, reporting, and comprehensive billing and coding FAQ's HERE


National Library of Medicine – National Institute of Health

American College of Emergency Physicians (

American Academy of Family Practitioners (AAFP)

Ultrasound Training

Adequate skills training is necessary to effectively integrate POCUS into clinical practice. A quality POCUS program should incorporate a variety of education formats including lectures by leading ultrasound experts, clinical case presentations, and robust hands-on skill training that involves scanning standardized patients and inanimate phantoms. It is important that the scan labs utilize a low participant to instructor ratio (no more than 3:1 ratio) to receive the most scan time and individualized attention. In addition, the CME program should offer topics that address basic ultrasound fundamentals (system optimization, scant techniques etc.), the applications outlined in the ultrasound practice guidelines /recommendations, and the needs of your specific family or internal medicine practice. Traditional education (live lectures & hands-on workshop) or Blended-education (online course + scan workshop) formats are effective providing substantial hands-on skills training is included in the program.

Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute, Inc.

GUI has been the leading ultrasound CME provider since 1985. Over 180,000 physicians, sonographers, and other medical providers have attended our programs and utilized our education resources. Post-course surveys reveal a consistent 99% satisfaction rating for meeting or exceeding over-all educational objectives and the learners’ ability to successfully integrate the skills learned into clinical practice.

Thinking about implementing Point-of-Care Ultrasound? Join us for one of the upcoming 2024 programs to help expand patient services, improve the quality of patient care/safety, and to incorporate another valuable revenue generating patient service.

Visit our website or call us for more information:

111-2nd Avenue NE, Suite 800

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701


   April 17-19, 2024: POCUS for Family Medicine (Traditional format)

   April 18-19, 2024: POCUS for Internal Medicine (Traditional format)

   June 20-21, 2024: POCUS for Family Medicine (Blended format - Comprehensive online course with a 2-day hands-on only workshop)


About the Author

Lori Green BA, RDMS, RDCS, RVT

Lori is the President and Program Director of Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute, Inc.

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