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Health Insurance Plan: What Diagnostic Radiology Procedures are Covered?

Nowadays, it is imperative that families avail themselves of good healthcare insurance. So many questions arise whether or not a specific procedure or treatment, be it diagnostic or invasive, is included in a health insurance plan.

This article gives examples of the more popular inclusions in a health plan – diagnostic radiology tests here in Provo. These are tests that are generally non-invasive and they use imaging to diagnose a patient. These tests may or may not use radiation in its procedures.

Read on for a better understanding of what these procedures entail, when are they required and what conditions they diagnose.

X-Ray

X-radiation, which is a form of electromagnetic wave that can pass through solid objects, can generate images of the internal body. A radiograph is an image formed when a patient positions himself between the source of the x-ray radiation and an x-ray detector.

Different body tissues are displayed in varying shades in a radiograph. Bones may appear whiter as they contain calcium and they readily absorb x-rays, hence, the lighter color. On the other hand, denser tissues like fat and muscle enable x-rays to travel more freely through them.

These tissues are displayed in stark shades of grey. X-rays are used to detect bone fractures, injuries, dental problems, and the presence of abnormal masses or foreign objects.

When incorrectly administered, x-rays pose a great risk. The ionizing radiation produced in x-rays is potentially harmful to living tissues. A pregnant woman is generally not given any x-ray procedure in the abdomen area as this may harm the baby.

Prolonged or several exposures to x-ray may also be risky to a person’s health.

Ultrasound

The term ultrasound basically refers to sound waves with higher frequencies than what human can hear. The procedure uses sound waves to create images that make this a lot safer because it does not utilize radiation as a source.

Ultrasound scans, or sonography, are used to assess the development of a fetus inside the mother’s womb. The procedure is also recommended when performing certain types of biopsies when trying to determine the presence and the stage of a disease.

Ultrasound procedures are widely used largely due to its safety and absence of need for any special preparation. A sonographer is qualified to perform the procedure but image interpretation is done by a radiologist, cardiologist or any specialist.

CT scan

Woman undergoing CT scan

CT stands for Computed Tomography, which is a procedure that requires a more specialized technology using x-ray. Fast, painless and generally non-invasive, CT scans can detect injuries and risky internal conditions accurately.

This scan is performed on patients with traumatic injuries such as those from accidents that result in excessive bleeding and possibly severe damage to internal organs. A CT or CAT scan can generate three-dimensional images of the inside of the body.

These images can provide a more detailed visual of bones, organs and blood vessels as compared to the traditional x-ray. Patients are advised not to eat prior to the procedure and must not be wearing any jewelry because it may affect the resulting images.

These are examples of the most popular tests you may want to clarify with your healthcare insurance agent. It is best to understand what you need to pay for and what they will shoulder and under what circumstances.

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