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Does Medicare Cover a Nuclear Stress Test?

Find out what happens during a nuclear stress test, what the results can show and what Medicare does cover.

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Here in the U.S., one person dies of heart disease every 34 seconds. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in our country, but, fortunately, there are many things we can do to prevent it. 

The first step in prevention is educating yourself. Some medical and lifestyle choices that can put you at higher risk for heart disease include:

Choosing a healthy lifestyle can help you stave off heart disease. Eat healthy foods, get regular physical activity and avoid excessive alcohol use and smoking. If you have signs or symptoms of heart disease, you may need screenings to determine your condition. A nuclear stress test is just one of those screenings available to you.

What Is a Nuclear Stress Test?

Your doctor may recommend a nuclear stress test to diagnose heart disease and coronary artery disease when you have symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath. A nuclear stress test uses a small amount of radioactive material and an imaging machine to show your heart’s blood flow. 

During the test, a physician injects a radioactive dye into your bloodstream. An imaging device will document the way your blood travels. Any progress shown between photographs taken by the device will show how efficiently blood is traveling to and from your heart.

Then, if you can, you may be asked to do some light exercise to increase your heart rate. If you can’t exercise, a physician may give you medication to widen your blood vessels or speed up your heart rate to simulate exercise.

Once your heart rate is elevated, you’ll repeat the test with the imaging device to analyze changes in your blood flow. When comparing the two tests, your doctor can determine your risk of heart disease or whether your function has declined. 

Does Medicare Cover a Nuclear Stress Test?

When your doctor orders a medically necessary diagnostic laboratory test , Medicare Part B can cover it 100%. 

In addition to diagnosing heart disease, a nuclear stress test can tell your doctor how well your treatment is working. Medicare typically does cover the cost of diagnostic laboratory tests, including a nuclear stress test.

If you need more help understanding your coverage for heart disease prevention, the licensed agents at Senior Healthcare Direct can help. Call 1-833-463-3262, TTY 711, or click here to get your quote.

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LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The above is meant to be strictly educational and not intended to provide medical advice or solicit the sales of an insurance product or service of any kind.