The medical necessity for treatment of port-wine stains.
ABSTRACT Port-wine stains are congenital vascular malformations that can be disfiguring and may lead to psychosocial as well as medical complications. The 585-nm pulsed dye laser is very effective in treating port-wine stains. Laser treatment is often viewed by insurance companies as a "cosmetic procedure" and not "medically necessary". Consequently many patients are denied coverage for treatment of their disfiguring birthmarks.
To determine variability of insurance coverage for laser treatment of port-wine stains from state to state. Natural history, progression, and potential complications of port-wine stains are reviewed and rationale for consistent insurance coverage for laser treatment of port-wine stains is given.
A questionnaire was mailed to 40 dermatologic surgeons in 22 states and the District of Columbia. We reviewed the literature regarding port-wine stains and their potential complications, and health care policy guidelines regarding "medical necessity" and "cosmetic procedures".
Insurance coverage for laser treatment of port-wine stains varies from state to state.
Based on current health care policy guidelines, laser treatment of port-wine stains should be regarded, and covered, as a medical necessity by all insurance providers.
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ABSTRACT: The presence of various types of birthmarks was determined in 1,058 newborn infants under 72 hours of age. Of these, 79.5% were white, 6.2% were black, 11.2% were ladinos, and 2.6% were Asiatic. Mongol spots were present in 9.6% of the white babies, 95.5% of the black babies, 81% of the Asiatic babies, and 70.1% of ladino infants. Pigmented lesions were present in 42 (4%) of the infants. Biopsies obtained in 34 (3.2%) revealed that only one-third (11) of these were melanocytic nevi. Salmon patches were present in 40.3% of the infants, recognizable early strawberry marks in 2.6%, and port-wine strains in 0.3%. In addition to birthmarks, it was determined that 30.3% of the 508 babies examined at one of the two hospitals had toxic erythema of the newborn.Pediatrics 09/1976; 58(2):218-22. · 5.12 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In an attempt to understand the histogenesis and evolution of port wine stains (PWS), 100 patients with PWS were biopsied; the gross features of each lesion and the patient's associated clinical characteristics were recorded. A detailed analysis of each biopsy including both vessel and nonvessel parameters was made with the assistance of a computer. The central abnormalities characterizing port wine stains are an increase in vessel number (vascular profiles) and ectasia. Vessel number is highest in the immediate subepidermal area and then rapidly diminishes; mean vessel depth is .46 +/- .17 mm. In contrast mean vessel area shows less variation throughout the dermis, ectatic vessels being present when vessel number is very low. The product of both factors determines the percent of dermis occupied by vessels, but the mean vessel area is the major determinant. While age correlates poorly with vessel number, it correlates well with both progressive vessel ectasia and color shifts (pink to purple). Each of multiple vessel parameters analyzed (vessel number, mean vessel area, wall thickness, angulation, and luminal erythrocyte content) exhibited strong layer to layer correlation within the first .8 mm of tissue beneath the epidermis, indicating homogeneity of vessel characteristics within the lesion. The size of the lesion and facial quadrant distribution do not change with age nor are they related to any histological parameters. However the PWS lesion is found most often on the right side and lower quadrants, with a distinctive pattern being present in patients with glaucoma and mental retardation.Journal of Investigative Dermatology 04/1980; 74(3):154-7. · 6.19 Impact Factor
- Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 11/1994; 31(4):675-6. · 4.91 Impact Factor