This policy version was replaced May 30, 2022. To find the newest version, go to https://www.bluecrossmn.com/providers/medical-policy-and-utilization-management, read and accept the Blue Cross Medical Policy Statement, then select “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Medical Policies.” This will bring up the Medical Policy search screen. Enter the policy number without the version number (last 3 digits).
Lymphedema is the swelling of subcutaneous tissues due to the accumulation of excessive lymph fluid. The accumulation of lymph fluid results from impairment to the normal clearing function of the lymphatic system and/or from an excessive production of lymph. Lymphedema is divided into two broad classes according to etiology. Primary lymphedema is a relatively uncommon, chronic condition which may be due to such causes as Milroy's Disease or congenital anomalies. Secondary lymphedema, which is much more common, results from the destruction of or damage to formerly functioning lymphatic channels, such as surgical removal of lymph nodes or post radiation fibrosis, among other causes.
Surgery has been suggested for those with refractory lymphedema which has not improved with conservative treatment. These procedures include:
Note: Suction assisted lipectomy/suction assisted protein lipectomy is addressed in medical policy IV-82, Liposuction.
I. Surgical treatment of lymphedema, including but not limited to the following procedures, is considered EXPERIMENTAL/INVESTIGATIVE due to the lack of clinical evidence demonstrating an impact on improved health outcomes:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota medical policies apply generally to all Blue Cross and Blue Plus plans and products. Benefit plans vary in coverage and some plans may not provide coverage for certain services addressed in the medical policies. When determining coverage, reference the member’s specific benefit plan, including exclusions and limitations.
Medicaid products may provide different coverage for certain services, which may be addressed in different policies. For Minnesota Health Care Program (MHCP) policies, please consult the MHCP Provider Manual website.
Medicare products may provide different coverage for certain services, which may be addressed in different policies. For Medicare National Coverage Determinations (NCD), Local Coverage Determinations (LCD), and/or Local Coverage Articles, please consult CMS, National Government Services, or CGS websites.
Note that services with specific coverage criteria may be reviewed retrospectively to determine if criteria are being met. Retrospective denial of claims may result if criteria are not met.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota reserves the right to revise, update and/or add to its medical policies at any time without notice. Codes listed on this policy are included for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Inclusion or exclusion of a code does not constitute or imply member coverage or provider reimbursement.
These guidelines are the proprietary information of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Any sale, copying or dissemination of the medical policies is prohibited; however, limited copying of medical policies is permitted for individual use.
CPT® codes copyright American Medical Association® 2022. All rights reserved.
CDT codes copyright American Dental Association® 2022. All rights reserved.