Robotic technology has come a long way in recent decades, and today, the medical industry is able to utilize robotics for a large variety of services that require pinpoint accuracy and attention to detail. This is evident in the rise of robotics being used in surgical settings, and combined with remote control advancements, surgeons are now able to perform surgeries via the Internet without ever stepping foot in the operating room. This means that patients are able to receive care from skilled healthcare professionals that are located in other states, and it also means that there is likely to be a greater degree of precision involved in surgical procedures utilizing robotics.
Does Medicare Cover Robotic Surgery?
Medicare generally covers outpatient surgical procedures under Part B, and surgeries performed after you have been formally admitted into a hospital are generally covered under Part A. Currently, there is no stipulation that places restrictions on robot-assisted surgery. In Medicare’s eyes, surgery is surgery, so as long as the procedure is medically necessary and is carried out in a Medicare-approved facility, then it should qualify. Keep in mind that this also means that the surgeon operating the robot will likely need to be a participating Medicare provider, even if the surgery is performed remotely. For this reason, you may not be able to have a covered surgery that is performed remotely by a surgeon in another country.
Medicare and Rehabilitation After Robotic Surgery
After any type of surgery, the possibility exists that rehabilitation may be required. This is especially true for invasive surgeries. If you require a stay in a skilled nursing facility while recovering after robotic surgery, Medicare Part A would apply. Medicare Part A would also be the part of the program that is billed for any hospitalization services prior to or after a surgery.
If you require outpatient rehabilitation services, then Medicare Part B would be billed as it covers things like physician services and all outpatient care. If prescription medications are required for rehabilitation, then Medicare Part D would apply; however, this is only the case for prescriptions that you pick up at a pharmacy. If medications are administered during surgery, they may fall under either Part A or Part B depending upon the circumstances.
Medicare Advantage and Robotic Surgery
Medicare Advantage plans are health insurance plans offered through private insurance companies that contract with Medicare. These plans must meet the minimum requirements of Original Medicare, but they often include additional cost-saving benefits and more choices. In terms of Medicare Advantage and robotic surgery, you may enjoy a wide network of covered providers with a Medicare Advantage plan, and your costs may be lower if your MA plan offers additional benefits.