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Date Printed: October 20, 2017: 02:02 PM

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Subject: Nerve Block Injections

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This medical coverage guideline is not an authorization, certification, explanation of benefits, or a guarantee of payment, nor does it substitute for or constitute medical advice. All medical decisions are solely the responsibility of the patient and physician. Benefits are determined by the group contract, member benefit booklet, and/or individual subscriber certificate in effect at the time services were rendered. This medical coverage guideline applies to all lines of business unless otherwise noted in the program exceptions section.

 

DESCRIPTION

Nerve block injections may help manage some types of chronic pain caused by nerve irritation. There are two types of nerve block injections. Sympathetic nerve block injections target the nerves that spread out from your spine. These nerves control automatic body functions such as digestion or heart rate. Peripheral nerve block injections treat other nerves including those in the neck, arms or legs.

In a nerve block injection, your doctor inserts a long needle to the base of the irritated nerve. An X-ray device called a fluoroscope is often used to help guide the needle. Your doctor then injects medicine to block the pain and reduce swelling. This treatment is frequently done in an outpatient setting.

Your doctor may first try other more conservative treatments to relieve your pain. If these do not work, your doctor may then try nerve block injections.

Typically, you first receive one to two injections to see if they relieve your pain. If your pain improves, you may receive additional injections over time. Your doctor will continue to measure your improvement.

Visit the Clinical View of this guideline for more information.

Visit WebMD for more information on using nerve block injections to treat pain.

COVERAGE

 

Note: For all medical decisions about this service, Florida Blue uses the Position Statement in the Clinical View of this medical coverage guideline. To make the best decision for your health needs, talk to your doctor. The services covered vary from health plan to health plan. Refer to your health plan contract for complete information about your coverage.

 

Sympathetic nerve block injections may be covered if certain requirements are met for:

• Complex regional pain syndrome or CRPS

• Ischemic limb pain

• Pancreatic cancer

• Chronic pancreatitis

Peripheral nerve block injections may be covered if certain requirements are met for:

• Morton’s neuroma

• Plantar fasciitis or other foot neuritis

• Individuals that can’t take narcotics due to allergy or side effects

• Replacing other pain relief treatments such as intravenous medication

• Transitioning to oral pain relief medications

• Other pain if certain conditions are met

Visit the Clinical View of this guideline for specific coverage information.

PROGRAM EXCEPTIONS

• Federal Employee Program (FEP): Certain exceptions apply.

• State Account Organization (SAO): Certain exceptions apply.

• Medicare Advantage products: Certain exceptions apply.

Visit the Clinical View of this guideline for more coverage information.

Refer to your health plan contract for complete information about your coverage.

Date Printed: October 20, 2017: 02:02 PM