National Coverage Determination (NCD)

Nebulized Beta Adrenergic Agonist Therapy for Lung Diseases


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Tracking Information

Publication Number
Manual Section Number
Manual Section Title
Nebulized Beta Adrenergic Agonist Therapy for Lung Diseases
Version Number
Effective Date of this Version
Implementation Date

Description Information

Benefit Category
Durable Medical Equipment

Please Note: This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.

Item/Service Description

A. General

Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are characterized by airflow limitation that may be partially or completely reversible. Pharmacologic treatment with bronchodilators is used to prevent and/or control daily symptoms that may cause disability for persons with these diseases. These medications are intended to improve the movement of air into and from the lungs by relaxing and dilating the bronchial passageways. Beta adrenergic agonists are a commonly prescribed class of bronchodilator drug. They can be administered via nebulizer, metered dose inhaler, orally, or dry powdered inhaler.

Nebulized beta adrenergic agonist with racemic albuterol has been used for many years. More recently, levalbuterol, the (R) enantiomer of racemic albuterol, has been used in some patient populations. There are concerns regarding the appropriate use of nebulized beta adrenergic agonist therapy for lung disease.

Indications and Limitations of Coverage

B. Nationally Covered Indications


C. Nationally Non-Covered Indications


D. Other

After examining the available medical evidence, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services determines that no national coverage determination is appropriate at this time. Section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act decisions should be made by local Medicare Administrative Contractors through a local coverage determination process or case-by-case adjudication. See Heckler v. Ringer, 466 U.S. 602, 617 (1984) (Recognizing that the Secretary has discretion to either establish a generally applicable rule or to allow individual adjudication.). See also, 68 Fed. Reg. 63692, 63693 (November 7, 2003).

Transmittal Information

Transmittal Number
Revision History

12/2007 - Provided noncoverage policy. Effective date 09/10/2007. (TN 79) (CR5820)

National Coverage Analyses (NCAs)

This NCD has been or is currently being reviewed under the National Coverage Determination process. The following are existing associations with NCAs, from the National Coverage Analyses database.

Additional Information

Other Versions
Title Version Effective Between
Nebulized Beta Adrenergic Agonist Therapy for Lung Diseases 1 09/10/2007 - N/A You are here