Medicare recognizes the use of lasers for many medical indications. Procedures performed with lasers are sometimes used in place of more conventional techniques. In the absence of a specific noncoverage instruction, and where a laser has been approved for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration, contractor discretion may be used to determine whether a procedure performed with a laser is reasonable and necessary and, therefore, covered.
The determination of coverage for a procedure performed using a laser is made on the basis that the use of lasers to alter, revise, or destroy tissue is a surgical procedure. Therefore, coverage of laser procedures is restricted to practitioners with training in the surgical management of the disease or condition being treated.
04/1986 - Consolidated all other laser guideline-related sections into one section called Laser Procedures. Effective date NA. (TN 6)
05/1997 - Restricted coverage to practitioner's with training in surgical management of disease or condition being treated. Effective date NA. (TN 99)