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does medicare cover needle aponeurotomy

Does Medicare Cover Needle Aponeurotomy?

Needle aponeurotomy is a common treatment for Dupuytren’s Contracture.

If you have this condition and are a part of Medicare then you may be wondering “does Medicare cover needle aponeurotomy? In this article, we answer the question in clear, plain English. You’ll also find the average costs of needle aponeurotomy as well as other helpful info.

Does Medicare Cover Needle Aponeurotomy?

The short answer is, yes, Medicare may cover needle aponeurotomy. But not 100% of the time. Specific conditions need to be met in order for Medicare to pay. Below we take a look at exactly what these conditions are.

Medicare will not pre-authorize a needle aponeurotomy. That means if you have the insurance, you will have to submit a claim after the fact to try to get coverage. If Medicare covers it, they will do so under Medicare Part B.

Medicare will generally cover needle aponeurotomy if your doctor says it is medically necessary. Once you/your health care provider submits documentation showing the medical reason for this treatment, Medicare will decide if they will pay for it or not.  

If the treatment is covered by Medicare Part B, then it will also be covered by Medicare Advantage plans. Private insurers may also provide coverage. Check with your health care provider and/or insurance plan provider to find out the specifics of your coverage/situation.

How Much Does Needle Aponeurotomy Cost?

For a single finger, initial treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture through needle aponeurotomy usually costs around $800. If you include all repeat interventions, the overall costs can go as expensive as $1,700 or so, on average.

What Is Needle Aponeurotomy?

Dupuytren’s Contracture is a condition that causes the fingers (mostly ring and pinky fingers) to contract into the palms. It can limit us in performing daily activities like washing our faces. Though it is not always painful, it can be quite a nuisance in our lives.

If you have Dupuytren’s Contracture, you do not have to worry, though. There are several ways to treat Dupuytren’s Contracture. And one of them is through needle aponeurotomy.

This is one of the best treatments out there for this disease as it is not too invasive. Still, you may be wondering if Medicare covers this kind of treatment.

Needle aponeurotomy is a procedure that straightens bent fingers. Bent fingers are mainly caused by the disease called Dupuytren’s contracture. This procedure is also known by its other name, percutaneous needle fasciotomy.

How Does The Procedure For Needle Aponeurotomy Work?

First off, we need to know the goal and expected result after the procedure. This procedure aims to release the tight Dupuytren’s cord/s, thus allowing the bent fingers to straighten without forming scar tissue.

Needle aponeurotomy is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed under local anesthesia. Before the procedure begins, the doctor will inject you with the anesthesia to numb your hand with Dupuytren’s contracture.

The small needle will be injected through the skin, which will cut the tight cords. Once the needle cuts the tight cords, the contracture will release, and as a result, your contracted finger/s will be able to stretch and move like a normal finger. After the procedure, your hand will be wrapped with a bandage.

The procedure is an outpatient procedure, and it only takes less than an hour to perform it.

What Happens After The Procedure?

Most likely, your treated hand will swell. You can reduce the swelling through cold compress and by keeping your fingers moving.

The treated hand will be numb or will feel tingling for 1-2 days. Throughout the day for a couple of weeks, you will wear a splint intermittently, and you will wear them for a couple of months throughout the night.

It is recommended that you perform gentle finger bending and stretching. Do not worry; after a day or two or if your doctor performs the procedure, you will be able to resume regular activities.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover CPAP supplies?

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