The appeal of the iovera° System, a non-opiod nerve block, is that it offers a method of easing pain without drugs. Given the opioid epidemic, many people are searching for biochemical-free solutions. Iovera° uses a handheld device to administer freezing cold to a nerve near the surface of the body, preventing that nerve from transmitting pain signals. The technology isolates targeted nerves to mitigate the pain in a specific body part. The effect is immediate, and the duration of the relief can extend up to 90 days.
Medicare Benefits for Pain Management
Research has demonstrated success for some physicians who use iovera°. In 2018, The Morning Journal highlighted one Ohio surgeon’s use of this treatment. Dr. Peters of Salem Regional Medical Center demonstrated how he applies the device prior to knee surgery, explaining that the iovera° treatment is used for knees versus hips and shoulders because the nerves are very deep. He spoke favorably of the results, stating that his patients tend to experience reduced post-operative pain. It makes sense that less pain would hasten the recovery period because motion would be a little easier, facilitating productive physical therapy sessions.
It was reported that 65 is the average age of patients undergoing knee replacement surgery, so many patients may be wondering if Medicare will help cover the costs of treatment with the iovera° System.
Medicare Benefits for Pain Treatment
Medicare coverage for iovera° treatment may depend on your specific needs and circumstances. Work with your physician to determine the best course of action in treating your pain. Discuss alternative procedures, pain management solutions and medical care with your doctor. Medicare may help cover the costs of iovera°if your condition meets Medicare eligibility standards.
Be sure that your health care practitioner accepts assignment. Accepting assignment means that your doctor, provider or supplier agrees to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment for covered services. If you visit a doctor who is not participating in Medicare, you may be responsible for all of your expenses.
Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) includes coverage for medically necessary services and supplies in an outpatient setting. Pain management services that take place in a doctor’s office or outpatient setting may be covered by Part B. If you require traditional pain medications, Medicare Part D can help cover prescription drugs. Medicare drug plans can be obtained as an add-on to Original Medicare or through Medicare Advantage plans that offer prescription drug coverage as a component of their insurance package.
Knee Surgery Alternatives
If you are seeking non-surgical solutions to painful joints, some of the options covered by Part B may include physical therapy, braces, and a range of injections such as cortisone and nerve blocks. Discuss all these scenarios with your physician to identify the best course of action for your joints and overall health.