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New Cervical Fusion Local Coverage Determinations

Published on 

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Did You Know?

In 2023, the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) came together for a multi-MAC collaboration to provide an evidence-based Local Coverage Determination (LCD) for cervical fusion.


Why it Matters?

Historically, there have been LCDs for back procedures for Cervical Disk Replacement (i.e., Palmetto GBA LCD L38033), Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacement (i.e., Palmetto GBA LCD L37826), and Lumbar Spinal Fusion (i.e., Palmetto GBA LCD L37826).


Cervical Fusion is new to this group of back procedure LCDs, and the original effective date for this new LCD is July 7, 2024.


Per Palmetto’s LCD, cervical fusion surgery is considered medically reasonable and necessary when one of three covered indications:

  1. For decompression of symptomatic cervical nerve root impingement,
  2. For decompression of symptomatic cervical canal stenosis, or
  3. For decompression or stabilization of the cervical spine for one of four indications (traumatic injuries, spinal tumors, infection, deformities that include the cervical spine.)


In addition to meeting one of the above three indications, there are specific requirements for each that also must be met.  


What Can You Do?

Find your MAC specific LCD and related Billing and Coding Article on the Medicare Coverage Database (MCD) and share this information with key stakeholders at your facility. Below are the MAC specific policies and related articles listed on the MCD as of June 3rd.   


MAC Specific Cervical Fusion LCD and related Billing and Coding Article

CGS J14: L39741 / A59608 (A59738 – Response to Comments Article)

First Coast JN: DL39799

NGS J6/JK: DL39770 / DA59632

Noridian JE: L39758 / A59624 (A59796 – Response to Comments Article)

Noridian JF: L39762 / A59645 (A59797 – Response to Comments Article)

Novitas JH/JL: DL39793

Palmetto JJ/JM: L39773 / A59634 (A59736 – Response to Comments Article)

WPS J5/J8: L39788 / A59664 (A59800 – Response to Comments Article)

Article Author: Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS
Beth Cobb, RN, BSN, ACM, CCDS, is the Manager of Clinical Analytics at Medical Management Plus, Inc. Beth has over twenty-five years of experience in healthcare including eleven years in Case Management at a large multi-facility health system. In her current position, Beth is a principle writer for MMP’s Wednesday@One weekly e-newsletter, an active member of our HIPAA Compliance Committee, MMP’s Education Department Program Director and co-developer of MMP’s proprietary Compliance Protection Assessment Tool.

This material was compiled to share information.  MMP, Inc. is not offering legal advice. Every reasonable effort has been taken to ensure the information is accurate and useful.