National Coverage Analysis (NCA) Tracking Sheet

Actinic Keratoses



Actinic keratoses are pre-cancerous skin lesions that occur primarily on sun-exposed skin surfaces. We were initally asked to consider developing a national coverage decision for the treatment of actinic keratoses because of inconsistencies that exist through local medical policies implemented by several different Medicare contractors throughout the country.

National Coverage Determinations

Benefit Category

Physicians' Services

Requestor Information

Requestor Name Requestor Letter
Richard Scher, M.D., President, American Academy of Dermatology N/A

Important Dates

Formal Request Accepted and Review Initiated
Expected NCA Completion Date
Public Comment Period
01/07/2000 - 02/07/2000
Proposed Decision Memo Due Date
Proposed Decision Memo Released
Proposed Decision Memo Public Comment Period
Decision Memo Released


Lead Analysts
Perry Bridger
Lead Medical Officers

Medicare Benefit Category Determination Date

Actions Taken

December 22, 1999

Formal request accepted for review.

December 22, 1999

Letter sent to Darrell S. Rigel, M.D., President, that we accepted the formal request to develop a national coverage policy.

January 12, 2000

Met with the American Academy of Dermatology and we are awaiting receipt of additional information. See Meeting Report [PDF, 26KB].

March 17, 2000

Communication received from the American Academy of Dermatology requesting that we temporarily put this formal request on hold. We have agreed to suspend our development of a national coverage policy for the treatment of actinic keratoses at this time.

June 6, 2000

Received a letter from the American Academy of Dermatology requesting that we re-open their formal request.

August 15, 2000

Notified the American Academy of Dermatology that we have requested a technology assessment from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

March 16, 2001

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), formerly the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), was notified by AHRQ that the final version of the technology assessment would not be received from the Oregon Health Sciences University Evidence-based Practice Center until May 8, 2001.

May 8, 2001

Received Technology Assessment  from AHRQ. CMS has 60 days to issue a coverage decision. New due date will be July 9, 2001.

May 29, 2001

Met with the American Academy of Dermatology.

July 19, 2001

Decision made. Please see Decision Memorandum.