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Does Medicare Cover Cardiac Ablation?

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By Daniel Petkevich
Dec 9, 2022

Read this if you have AFib

For Medicare beneficiaries with AFib, you might be going through your options for treatment. When you find a procedure to help correct your heartbeat, it's good to know that you'll have coverage. Cardiac ablation has coverage under Medicare. How much could that cost for you? Let's find out.

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What is cardiac ablation?

Cardiac ablation is a medical procedure that uses energy to treat certain types of irregular heartbeats. During the procedure, tissue in the heart is destroyed or altered, so it no longer causes abnormal electrical signals that lead to an irregular heartbeat. Benefits can include improved quality of life and reduction of symptoms associated with cardiac arrhythmias, such as palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, and fainting. Additionally, cardiac ablation can reduce the need for ongoing medications and reduce the risk of stroke.
It's important to note that not all types of cardiac arrhythmias are eligible for Medicare coverage. Be sure to discuss your condition with a healthcare provider to determine if cardiac ablation is the right treatment option for you.

How does Medicare Part A cover cardiac ablation?

Medicare Part A can help pay for inpatient medical treatments such as cardiac ablation if it is medically necessary and meets Medicare’s coverage requirements. If your doctor recommends cardiac ablation, Medicare Part A will cover the cost of the treatment once you pay the Part A deductible. In 2023, this is $1,600.

How to get a referral for cardiac ablation from your doctor?

You will need to have a referral from your doctor to receive coverage for cardiac ablation under Medicare Part A. Your doctor can help you decide if the procedure is right for you and submit the necessary paperwork to get approval from Medicare. Additionally, you may need to provide additional information or documentation as requested by your insurance provider.

What you need to know about the pre-operative process?

Prior to having cardiac ablation, your doctor may recommend a few tests or procedures to ensure the procedure is safe and effective. These could include an electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram (ECHO), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or a stress test. Once these tests are completed, you will need to discuss the results with your doctor and they will advise you on whether or not cardiac ablation is suitable for you.
It's important to understand all of the risks associated with the procedure, including infection, bleeding and other complications. Be sure to ask your doctor any questions or express any concerns that you have prior to undergoing cardiac ablation.

What happens during the surgery?

During the cardiac ablation procedure, a catheter (a thin tube) is inserted through a vein and guided to your heart. Radiofrequency or cryoablation energy is used to destroy abnormal tissue in order to restore normal electrical signals. The entire process can take several hours, depending on the severity of your condition. Afterward, you will be monitored for several hours to ensure that the procedure is successful.
In some cases, more than one ablation session may be necessary to achieve desired results. It is important to follow all instructions from your doctor after the procedure and learn how to recognize potential signs of complications or adverse reactions.

The post-operative care required after cardiac ablation surgery

After your cardiac ablation procedure, you may need to take some time off work and reduce physical activity. In most cases, you will be able to return to normal activities the following day. Your doctor may also prescribe medications such as anticoagulants or anti-arrhythmia drugs to prevent further arrhythmias or reduce the risk of blood clots.
It is important to follow up with your doctor for regular check-ups and any instructions related to taking medications or making lifestyle changes. Additionally, you should always follow safety measures such as avoiding physical activity that can increase your heart rate or wearing a medical alert bracelet in case of an emergency.

The cost of cardiac ablation and whether or not it's covered by Medicare

The cost of cardiac ablation can vary depending on the patient's medical condition and the type of procedure. Generally, these procedures are covered by Medicare Part A if they are medically necessary and meet specific coverage requirements. However, there may be additional costs, such as deductibles and copayments, that you will need to pay out-of-pocket for associated costs after the procedure. Before your procedure, check with your Medicare plan provider for more information about coverage and price.

Takeaway

Cardiac ablation can be a safe and effective treatment option for certain heart arrhythmias. If you are considering the procedure, it is important to speak with your doctor about your medical condition and any potential risks associated with the surgery. This content is for informational purposes only. Call an expert at Fair Square Medicare if you have any questions related to Medicare.

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