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Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Knee Injections

Average Costs For Hyalgan With Medicare Drug Coverage1

There’s No Place Like Home – After Knee, Hip Joint Replacement | Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

Medicare coverage for Hyalgan can vary. You should speak with your doctor and contact your Medicare plan carrier to learn more about how your Hyalgan treatment may be covered by your plan.

If your Hyalgan treatment is covered by Medicare Part B, you will typically be responsible for paying the Part B coinsurance or copayment after you meet the Part B deductible, which is $233 per year in 2022.

Blue Cross Overturns Decision Approves Stem Cell Transplant Coverage

GREENVILLE, Mich. — Lori Mills has been approved to receive a stem cell transplant under her Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage.

The insurance company has overturned its previous denial from the summer of 2014.

In a letter Mills received January 2, 2015, Blue Cross states the company will now pay for the potentially life-changing procedure.

“I know it’s going to be a shot at a whole new life for me,” Mills said today.

She added, “I know that because of our previous interview, it really helped get this approval letter because whenever I call they talk about it.”

She suffers from chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy or CIDP. Her immune system attacks her nervous system. She shakes, has numbness, and it impairs her movement.

Doctors told her a stem cell transplant could be the cure.

Watch the video for Mills’ story and what the insurance company had to say in its approval letter.

Hyaluronic Acid Injections Are Fda

Hyaluronic acid injections have been FDA approved for many years as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis. But the American College of Rheumatology recommends against the use of hyaluronic acid in patients with hip osteoarthritis. Nevertheless, some doctors have been using it off-label as hip injections for their patients. For example, Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical insurance considers intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid in any joint other than the knee to be investigational and not medically necessary. Researchers have studied the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid injections for the hip and the results were inconclusive.

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Cms National Coverage Policy

Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, §1862 allows coverage and payment for only those services that are considered to be reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member.

Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, §1862 addresses services that are determined to be investigational or experimental.

CMS Internet-Only Manual, Pub. 100-02, Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 16, §10 General Exclusions from Coverage

CMS Internet-Only Manual, Pub. 100-03, Medicare National Coverage Determinations Manual, Chapter 1, Part 4, §270.3 Blood -Derived Products for Chronic Non-healing Wounds. Effective August 2, 2012, upon reconsideration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has determined that platelet-rich plasma an autologous blood-derived product, will be covered only for the treatment of chronic non-healing diabetic, venous and/or pressure wounds and only when the conditions outlined in the NCD for coverage with evidence development are met.

CMS Internet-Only Manual, Pub. 100-04, Medicare Claims Processing Manual, Chapter 23, §30A Physicians Services

CMS Internet-Only Manual, Pub. 100-04, Medicare Claims Processing Manual, Chapter 30, §50.3.1 Mandatory ABN Uses

Hospital Stay And Surgery

Blue Cross Blue Shield for Substance Abuse Treatment

Youll receive separate bills for a TKR. As discussed above, the hospital will bill you for your stay, time spent in the operating room, and other applicable hospital services, supplies, and equipment used.

Providers will bill you for procedure charges that cover services provided by the surgeon, as well as:

  • anesthesia
  • any tools and treatments the physical therapist uses
  • outpatient follow-up

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License For Use Of Physicians’ Current Procedural Terminology Fourth Edition

End User Point and Click Amendment:CPT codes, descriptions and other data only are copyright 2021 American Medical Association. American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved . CPT is a trademark of the American Medical Association .

You, your employees and agents are authorized to use CPT only as contained in the following authorized materials of CMS internally within your organization within the United States for the sole use by yourself, employees and agents. Use is limited to use in Medicare, Medicaid or other programs administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services . You agree to take all necessary steps to insure that your employees and agents abide by the terms of this agreement.

Any use not authorized herein is prohibited, including by way of illustration and not by way of limitation, making copies of CPT for resale and/or license, transferring copies of CPT to any party not bound by this agreement, creating any modified or derivative work of CPT, or making any commercial use of CPT. License to use CPT for any use not authorized herein must be obtained through the AMA, CPT Intellectual Property Services, AMA Plaza, 330 Wabash Ave., Suite 39300, Chicago, IL 60611-5885. Applications are available at the AMA Web site, .

Services That Need Approval

Depending on what type of plan you have, we may need to review and approve some of your health care services before we cover them. We call this prior authorization.

If you need preapproval, your doctor or health care professional will request a review on your behalf. Once we get the request, we’ll begin the review process. So, it’s important they send us all the materials we need for your review, up front.

If you’re looking for more information about prescription drug prior authorization, read Why do I need prior authorization for a prescription drug?

There are four types of review for health care services:

  • Preservice non-urgent review: When you need to get a certain health care service, but it isn’t urgent. It can take up to 15 days for us to make our decision. This is the most common type of review.
  • Preservice urgent review: When you need to get a certain health care service as soon as possible, but it isn’t an emergency. It can take up to three days for us to make our decision.
  • Urgent concurrent review: When you’re already getting care and you can’t wait to get approval for it. This often happens with trips to the emergency room. It can take up to 24 hours for us to make our decision.
  • Postservice review: When you’ve already gotten the care you need and you request approval for it. It can take up to 30 days for us to make a decision.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal.

Here are some services that need approval. This is not a full list.

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Insurance Companies Deny Viscosupplementation For Knee Osteoarthritis

By Scott Glovsky on June 7th, 2019 in Insurance and Healthcare Denials, Insurance Bad Faith

Knee Osteoarthritis is a major cause of disability in this country. It is painful and develops slowly over time. While osteoarthritis has no cure, viscosupplementation can be very effective in treating it and allowing patients to be active and reduce pain. The treatment involves injecting a fluid called hyaluronic acid into the knee to act as a lubricant to aid movement and limit pain.

Register For A Webinar About Hyaluronic Acid Products For Knee Injections

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas explains the importance of getting vaccinated

As BCBS of Michigan communicated previously, starting Jan. 1, 2020, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will consider some hyaluronic acid drugs to be preferred or covered and others to be nonpreferred or noncovered. You can find the full details in the article titled Blue Cross and BCN to cover select hyaluronic acid products, starting Jan. 1 in the November 2019 issue of The Record.

BCBS is holding webinars to provide information about hyaluronic acid products for knee injections for Blue Cross’ PPO, Medicare Plus BlueSM PPO, BCN HMOSM and BCN AdvantageSM members.

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Cost Effective Alternatives To Supartz Or Chicken Fat Injections

As of April 1, 2018, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan will no longer cover any hyaluronic acid injections for arthritis. This includes injections better known as Supartz, Synvisc, Effflexa or sometimes referred to as roster comb and/or chicken fat injections. Medicare and Blue Cross products covering Medicare will still cover these injections. The rationale is not due to any adverse reactions or increasing cost of the injections, but rather due to a recommendation from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Without insurance reimbursement, these treatments can cost up to $1600 which is a terrible burden for our patients. However, Advanced Orthopedic Specialists and Dr. Edward G. Loniewski have come up with some very cost effective treatment alternatives that are more effective, safer and less time consuming than the current hyaluronic injection series.

Please contact our office at 810-299-8550 for the most current pricing.

This blog will focus on homeopathic injections as an alternative:

Homeopathic Injections- Samuel Hahnemann brought the idea that like cures like to the modern world in the early 1800s and this was so popular by the late 1800s that the University of Michigan opened its own homeopathic college in 1891. Homeopathy fell on hard times when many medical journals and standard medical organizations refused to recognize this form of medicine as legitimate theory.

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Blue Shield Of California Dropping Viscosupplementation Coverage 6/1/18

  • NOI

In the past year, Blue Shield of California has begun the process of dropping their coverage of viscosupplements for osteoarthritis of the knee.

As of , patients covered under Blue Shield of California commercial health insurance, will no longer receive ANY coverage for viscosupplementation treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee. This change has been implemented based on scientific reviews and guidelines that have determined this method of treatment is not considered to be medically necessary. Medically necessary is defined by as a healthcare service or supply needed to prevent, diagnose or treat an illness, injury, condition, disease or its symptoms and that meet accepted standards of medicine.

For those patients who have received an approved authorization for viscosupplementation:

  • Treatment plan will need to be completed prior to June 1st in order to be covered.

For those patients who have been prescribed a series of three viscosupplementation injections

  • All three treatments will need to be done prior to June 1st.

NOTE: It is anticipated that other health insurance plans may follow BSCs lead and also stop coverage of viscosupplementations. We will attempt to update our Blog with any new information. However, it is best to contact your health plan directly to confirm authorization approval for this type of treatment.

If you have any questions about treatment options, give us a call at 722-7038 and set up an appointment with your doctor.

Does Medicare Cover Hyalgan

Blue Cross Blue Shield Drug Rehab Coverage

Medicare Part B may cover Hyalgan if your doctor deems it medically necessary to treat your knee pain due to osteoarthritis .

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan will cover qualified Hyalgan treatment that would be covered by Medicare Part B.

Many Medicare Advantage plans also include coverage for other prescription drugs that may not be covered by Original Medicare.

Find Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage

Or call 1-800-557-6059TTY Users: 711 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

You can also compare Part D prescription drug plans available where you live and enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan online when you visit

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Does Medicare Cover Knee Gel Injections

If youre living with osteoarthritis in your knees, you know how difficult and painful it can be. Today in the United States, over 50 million people have osteoarthritis and many live with pain, stiffness, loss of flexibility, bone spurs, swelling and tenderness, and a general reduction in their day-to-day quality of life.

Medicare Benefits Solutions

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In cases of severe knee osteoarthritis, many physicians may suggest either having knee replacement surgery or treatment with gel injections in the knee. The gel injection treatment is non-invasive and helps by temporarily relieving the pain and restricted mobility that comes with osteoarthritis. While in most cases, people eventually require replacement surgery, getting knee gel injections could be a great option for the relief of your symptoms.

Does Medicare cover knee gel injections?If you have Original Medicare Part B or a Medicare Advantage plan, your benefits include coverage of knee gel injections if you are eligible. To meet the requirements for eligibility, you must meet the following requirements: The injections are for the knees only You show evidence of knee osteoarthritis with X-rays Coverage is acceptable for injections given no more often than every six months Your Medicare-affiliated health care provider must certify that the injections are medically necessary.

Surgeons Seek Coverage Of Viscosupplementation By Insurance Companies

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact .Jack M. Bert

KOLOA, Hawaii Millions of patients with meniscal and other soft tissue injuries of the knee who might be candidates for viscosupplementation are unable to receive this treatment because some insurance carriers no longer cover it for this indication, presenters at a panel discussion at Orthopedics Today Hawaii, here, said.

The good news, according to a presenter, is efforts now underway by concerned orthopedic surgeons seek to change the mind of decision-makers at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons regarding the organizations position on the indication for viscosupplementation, which has influenced insurance carriers.

In discussing his preferred treatment for a 40-year-old patient with knee osteoarthritis who underwent debridement but continued to have pain in the absence of mechanical symptom or effusion, William R. Beach, MD, said, Unless they are going to buy it themselves, you cannot get viscosupplementation in Richmond, Virginia, if you have got Anthem. So, that is out. is actually cheaper.Jack M. Bert, MD, who moderated the session, explained further.

Just for those of you who are still using viscosupplementation, I realize in 35 states with , you cannot do it. Now, with Anthem, it is another 42 million patients in whom you cannot use it, Bert said.


Johal H, et al. JBJS Rev. 2016 doi:10.2106/JBJS.RVW.15.00098.

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C Thomas Vangsness Jr

1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Bedard et al. recently published a review on the impact of the 2013 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Clinical Practice Guideline on intra-articular hyaluronic acid injections, also referred to as viscosupplementation, and concluded that there were subtle but important changes in the use of IA HA following the publication of the AAOS CPG and that these changes were warranted because of the high cost of the injections, given their questionable efficacy1. However, we believe that consideration of the additional data supports a different conclusion and that the CPG has had a more detrimental impact on patient care. We submit that continued endorsement of this guideline may not be in the best interest of patients or the health-care system. Accordingly, we believe that the 2013 AAOS CPG should be reconsidered and modified to include a more comprehensive and perhaps more objective treatise on the guidelines for the nonsurgical treatment of knee pain due to osteoarthritis .

Hyaluronic Acid Ineffective For Hip Osteoarthritis

Florida Blue Member Shares her Mayo Clinic Knee Replacement Story

Hyaluronic acid aims to restore the normal properties of the synovial fluid. It has also been suggested that hyaluronic acid may protect the cartilage, and reduce the production and activity of inflammatory chemicals .

According to one study, a single injection of hyaluronic acid is not effective for hip osteoarthritis, actually, no more effective than placebo. Because hyaluronic acid is rapidly cleared from joints, more than one injection could be needed to provide benefit. Rapid clearance of hyaluronic acid is just one theory of why multiple injections may produce a better result.

Studies that looked at the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid for hip osteoarthritis have been small and scarce. More studies are needed to determine if hyaluronic acid is a suitable treatment option for joints other than the knee.

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Blue Distinction Centers For Knee And Hip Replacement

Blue Distinction® Centers and Blue Distinction® Centers+ for Knee and Hip Replacement have demonstrated expertise in total knee and total hip replacement surgeries. These centers have lower complication rates and fewer hospital readmissions.

Distinction® Centers for Knee and Hip Replacement, along with the Blue Distinction® Centers for Bariatric Surgery, Blue® Centers for Cardiac Care, Blue Distinction® Centers for Fertility Care, Blue Distinction® Centers for Gene Therapy, Blue Distinction® Centers for Cellular Immunotherapy, Blue Distinction® Centers for Maternity Care, Blue Distinction® Centers for Spine Surgery, Blue Distinction® Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery and Blue Distinction® Centers for Transplants are a key part of our efforts to work with doctors and facilities to improve the overall quality, and resulting affordability of specialty care.

Note: Designation as Blue Distinction Centers means these facilities’ overall experience and aggregate data met objective criteria established in collaboration with expert clinicians’ and leading professional organizations’ recommendations. Individual outcomes may vary. To find out which services are covered under your policy at any facility, please call the customer service number listed on your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois member ID card.


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