Diagnostic Laboratory Tests
This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.
Immunoassay determinations of the serum levels of certain proteins or carbohydrates serve as tumor markers. When elevated, serum concentration of these markers may reflect tumor size and grade. This policy specifically addresses the following tumor antigens: CA 15-3 and CA 27.29
Indications and Limitations of Coverage
Multiple tumor markers are available for monitoring the response of certain malignancies to therapy and assessing whether residual tumor exists post-surgical therapy.
CA 15-3 is often medically necessary to aid in the management of patients with breast cancer. Serial testing must be used in conjunction with other clinical methods for monitoring breast cancer. For monitoring, if medically necessary, use consistently either CA 15-3 or CA 27.29, not both.
CA 27.29 is equivalent to CA 15-3 in its usage in management of patients with breast cancer.
These services are not covered for the evaluation of patients with signs or symptoms suggestive of malignancy. The service may be ordered at times necessary to assess either the presence of recurrent disease or the patient's response to treatment with subsequent treatment cycles.
Note: Scroll down for links to the quarterly Covered Code Lists (including narrative).
Also see the Medicare Claims Processing Manual, Chapter 120, Clinical Laboratory Services Based on Negotiated Rulemaking.