Medicare expands coverage for HIV-related facial disorder
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 5, 2010
Medicare now will cover facial injections for beneficiaries with depression due to the appearance of severely hollowed cheeks resulting from HIV drug treatment, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced March 23.
Facial lipodystrophy is a localized loss of fat from the face, causing a thin appearance in the cheeks. The condition can be a side effect of certain kinds of medications that individuals receive as part of an HIV treatment regimen. CMS said individuals may have negative psychological effects from their appearance that cause them to discontinue their therapies.
The injections Medicare will cover are FDA-approved "fillers" that are injected under the facial skin. Data show that the injections improve patient self-image and relieve symptoms of depression, and could lead to improved compliance with HIV treatments, CMS said.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/04/05/gvbf0405.htm.