Extracorporeal photopheresis is a medical procedure in which a patient's white blood cells are exposed first to a drug called 8-methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) and then to ultraviolet A (UVA) light. The procedure starts with the removal of the patient's blood, which is centrifuged to isolate the white blood cells. The drug is typically administered directly to the white blood cells after they have been removed from the patient (referred to as ex vivo administration) but the drug can alternatively be administered directly to the patient before the white blood cells are withdrawn. After UVA light exposure, the treated white blood cells are then re-infused into the patient.
Extracorporeal photopheresis is covered by Medicare for the following disorders:
All other applications of ECP remain nationally non-covered. (NCD Manual Section 110.4)
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) received a formal written request for reconsideration to add coverage for ECP treatment for patients who have received lung allografts and then developed progressive bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) refractory to immunosuppressive drug treatment.