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Blue Cross/Blue Shield Of Massachusetts Introduces Controversial Criteria For Vein Treatment Reimbursement
Date:5/13/2009

The Spring issue of VEIN magazine reports on an alarming and controversial policy change made by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBS). This change could have a serious, negative impact on the entire venous community--from patients to physicians to the businesses that provide vein-related goods and services.

Irvine, CA (PRWEB) May 13, 2009 -- As of mid April, 2009, BCBS has mandated that in the state of Massachusetts, only three kinds of physicians will be eligible to get paid for the removal of varicose veins using Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLT). Moreover, these surgeons must perform the procedures, which are rapidly replacing the conventional vein stripping method, in facilities that have gone through a lengthy certification process.

The three kinds of physicians eligible for payment are: interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, and general surgeons. The American College of Radiology (ACR) or the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL) must approve their treatment sites.

BCBS claims that the initiative was driven by quality of care. They say there has been such explosive growth in RFA and EVLT in the last five years, and such a drastic and myriad influx of doctors performing them, that they could not be certain that everyone offering RFT and EVLT was truly and safely qualified.

However, most physicians and industry insiders cry foul, and with good reason. The risks associated with RFA and EVLT are actually lower than with conventional vein stripping, and recovery time is a fraction of what it used to be in terms of both time and discomfort. Many physicians possess the basic skill set to perform the procedures, and have taken ad
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Source: PRWeb
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