Is Coolief Covered Under Medicare? Payment Options

By: Thomas Wright
Published: Wednesday, February 13 2019
Last Updated: 5 months ago

As we get older, our bodies just don’t work like they used to, and we begin to ache in places we didn’t even know existed. One of the most common problems we face is joint pain, also known as arthralgia. Everyone experiences pain differently, and it may range from mild to severe. Regardless of your pain threshold, you’ll want to remedy the cause by any means necessary.

Today, we’re lucky to live in a time where we no longer our joint pain no longer requires invasive procedures. Instead, we have products like Coolief, which can help alleviate some of the pain you may be experiencing. Now, you're probably wondering how much this procedure might cost you, and more importantly, does whether or not Medicare covers Coolief. Well, here’s everything you need to know, including whether this procedure is right for you.

What Is Coolief?

Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation treatments involve the use of special cooled radiofrequency emitting needles to kill sensory nerves. The FDA approved Coolief, manufactured by Halyard Health, for chronic knee pain relief on April 20, 2017.

Dr. Timothy Davis, the founder of Orthopedic Pain Specialists, helped conduct the FDA study. He explained that there are many people suffering from chronic knee pain, who are not good candidates for joint replacement surgery due to weight, health or age. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that more than 30 million Americans suffer from joint pain, stiffness, and swelling due to osteoarthritis in the following:

  • Back
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Neck

These are all body parts that might deteriorate in the elderly and might be difficult to fix through surgery.

How It Can Help Your Chronic Pain?

Americans are more active and live longer, which means that there is a growing number of cases of creaky joints, suffering from osteoarthritis. When the cartilage is worn down, the bone-on-bone rubbing can cause excruciating pain. Radiofrequency ablation is a form of neurotomy, meaning that it kills nerves, so you can't feel pain in this area. Although, it is important to realize that your nerves will grow back eventually.

Coolief does not treat the underlying condition, just the pain temporarily. Studies have shown that joint pain might be relieved for 6 to 24 months. Fortunately, there is no incision and the treatment only takes about 40 minutes to an hour. These are some of the reasons why this procedure is becoming popular:

  • Athletes
  • Senior Citizens
  • Medical Options
  • Generational Wealth

Sports, exercising, and gym memberships have never been more popular. Unfortunately, all of these physical activities can place undue stress on the knee joints. More people have knee pain as a result. The graying of America has also lead to more individuals with creaking knees.

American are living longer than ever before, and are therefore more likely to have aches and pains that need to be managed. The number of private and public medical plans has also increased. This has made it more likely that specialized medical procedures will be covered. An affluent society will have more money to devote to healthcare. Hence, Americans can spend more money on knee operations because its citizens are wealthier.

Potential Side-Effects

In general, these are the documented side effects of cooled radiofrequency treatments:

  • Discomfort
  • Redness
  • Numbness
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Permanent Nerve Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Infection

Some patients describe a sunburn-type pain for nerves that were partially damaged, but not destroyed.

Is Coolief Covered By Medicare?

Is Coolief covered by Medicare? Medicare might cover Cool Radiofrequency treatments under the category of Interventional Pain Management Injections. These are pain management procedures for those who cannot undergo surgery.

What To Do If You’re Denied

Medicare allowable charges for chronic conditions might include radiofrequency ablation, which is used to kill sensory nerves to reduce pain. While this relatively new pain abatement treatment should be covered, due to its newness, it might vary from plan to plan. Therefore, you should check with your healthcare provider.

If Medicare denies your claim for Coolief, you can appeal. Sometimes, rejection is due to a lack of knowledge. In this case, you can appeal to Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs). These doctors advise the government of which cutting-edge medical procedures are appropriate and which are not.

Applicants can argue that Coolief is medically and reasonably necessary. The elderly can show that due to their age, they might not be candidates for hip or knee replacement surgery. Therefore, this procedure is essential for pain management and reduction.

Other Payment Options

There are many private medical insurance policies that cover Coolief. You should look for ones that pay for chronic osteoarthritis pain management procedures.

How Much Does Coolief Treatment Cost?

The Coolief cost is anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000. The price will depend on your doctor and your situation. You can have radiofrequency ablation done whenever the joint pain returns.