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Thread: RFA Ablation Duration

  1. #1

    Default RFA Ablation Duration

    AAPC: Back to School
    UHC has published their medical policy guidelines for RFA ablation duration which states;
    Thermal radiofrequency ablation of facet joint nerves is proven for chronic cervical,thoracic and lumbar pain when confirmed by:
    Temperature 60 degrees Celsius or more
    Duration of ablation 40-90 seconds
    Positive response to medical branch block injection at the side and level of the proposed ablation AND
    Confirmation of needle placement by fluoroscopic guided imaging

    My provider does not believe this is correct, he uses up to 120 seconds. Is there a National Guideline that supports what UHC states or any other information anyone could provide me to show my provider?
    Thanks as always for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007



    The studies they used to based their coverage has a maximum of 90 . I wasn't able to find a study thru the internet that they used 120 seconds, but I don't have the same abilities they have for obtaining these reference documents to be able to review additional studies that they didn't include in their medical policy.

  3. #3


    Thank You for your answer as always. Please let me ask you something, in your opinion would it be incorrect to use 120?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Might check UHC site where you could potentially address this question with their medical director thru email if they have contact us section near their medical policies. I would be weary of telling the physician to change the way he is performing a certain procedure if he deems this proves the best possilbe outcome for the patient but I would focus on as said above of attempting to get a response from UHC.

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