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Medicare coverage for lipoatrophy

Sep 5, 2010

In your response to "When will a cure for Lipo be found" you stated, "Medicare recently approved treatment for HIV-related lipoatrophy." Where can we get more information about this. You also said, "details should be forthcoming very soon." Is there some website we can watch to find out these "details?"

I had a procedure done by a Plastic Surgeon at Georgetown University Hospital about seven years ago where he removed my parotid glands (which were enlarged), sliced the tissue up and used it to fill out my cheeks. The results were terrific until I lost 30 pounds because of a kidney problem four years later. At that time, the parotid tissue simply wasted away and my face collapsed. I've gained 20 pounds back, but it has had no effect on my face.

I am unable to afford the various expensive fillers and would really be happy if medicare would pay for some newer, better treatment.


Response from Dr. Pierone

As of this post September 4th, 2010 we do have Medicare coverage for facial filler treatment with either Radiesse or Sculptra. We have just started submitting claims for Medicare patients so have very little feedback so far. What we do know is that the physician payment for the procedure here in Florida is about $100. With this low payment amount it seems unlikely that Medicare coverage will lead to a dramatic increase in access to facial filler treatment for HIV lipoatrophy.

For now, we are still accessing Radiesse and Sculptra through the patient assistance programs. As things evolve I will update this forum.

I hope that this information helps and best of luck to you!

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