On November 16, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published guidance entitled "Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery and CMS Rulings 05-01 and 1536-R." The guidance addresses when physicians and facilities may charge Medicare beneficiaries for the use of a femtosecond laser when performing cataract surgery with the implantation of premium IOLs. Among the main points of the webinar:
- Femtosecond laser system imaging capabilities may be billed to patients when used in connection with premium lens insertion, subject to some important limitations.
- Capsulotomy, lens fragmentation, and lens insertion are covered by Medicare, regardless of the method used (blades vs. lasers).
- When the femtosecond laser system is used to provide certain other services, such as imaging, in connection with insertion of a premium IOL, the patient may be charged — provided these services are not performed by the surgeon in conventional cataract cases except on a "limited and non-routine basis."