Group 1 Codes:
43257 ESOPHAGOGASTRODUODENOSCOPY, FLEXIBLE, TRANSORAL; WITH DELIVERY OF THERMAL ENERGY TO THE MUSCLE OF LOWER ESOPHAGEAL SPHINCTER AND/OR GASTRIC CARDIA, FOR TREATMENT OF GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE
43499 UNLISTED PROCEDURE, ESOPHAGUS
43999 UNLISTED PROCEDURE, STOMACH
49999 UNLISTED PROCEDURE, ABDOMEN, PERITONEUM AND OMENTUM
Coverage Indications, Limitations, and/or Medical Necessity
Benefits are not available for endoluminal treatment for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) using the Stretta® procedure, the Bard EndoCinch™ Suturing System, Plicator™, EsophyX™ or similar treatments as these procedures are not considered reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of an injury or disease.
Currently, these procedures are considered non-covered due to the fact that current peer-reviewed literature does not support the efficacy of the services. Claims will be denied as "not proven effective."
The Stretta® procedure is an endoluminal treatment for GERD in which radiofrequency energy is delivered to smooth muscle of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). A flexible catheter equipped with special needle electrodes for precise energy delivery is placed by mouth into the esophagus and carefully controlled radiofrequency energy is then delivered to the LES and gastric cardia, creating thermal lesions. The manufacturer maintains that the changes that occur immediately, and over time, result in a "tighter" LES and a less compliant gastric cardia. Additionally, the interruption of nerve pathways in the LES area is believed to reduce the incidence of inappropriate LES "relaxations," leading to an improvement in GERD symptoms. Substantial peer-reviewed evidence to fully support these assumptions remains to be published.
The Bard EndoCinch™ Suturing System and the Plicator™ are intended for use in endoscopic placement of suture(s) in the soft tissue of the esophagus and stomach and for approximation of tissue for treatment of symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease.
EsophyX™ is a device for performing transoral incisionless fundoplication surgery for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease. This procedure reconstructs the valve at the top of the stomach that helps prevents acid reflux.
These procedures are promising for treatment of patients in whom proton pump inhibitor therapy fails. Clinical data from various studies are emerging. At this time, open-label studies or patient registries with short term follow-ups are the dominant source of data. The overwhelming preponderance of reviewers remains equivocal in their support and have called for randomized controlled trials with long-term follow-ups. In the absence of evidence from such studies, and in the absence of wide acceptance, endoscopic treatments for GERD are not proven effective. Therefore, they are not reimbursable even though some of the treatments may have associated CPT™ or OPPS codes.
Bill Type Codes:
Contractors may specify Bill Types to help providers identify those Bill Types typically used to report this service. Absence of a Bill Type does not guarantee that the policy does not apply to that Bill Type. Complete absence of all Bill Types indicates that coverage is not influenced by Bill Type and the policy should be assumed to apply equally to all claims.
Contractors may specify Revenue Codes to help providers identify those Revenue Codes typically used to report this service. In most instances Revenue Codes are purely advisory. Unless specified in the policy, services reported under other Revenue Codes are equally subject to this coverage determination. Complete absence of all Revenue Codes indicates that coverage is not influenced by Revenue Code and the policy should be assumed to apply equally to all Revenue Codes.