Conditions that May Justify Foot Care Coverage

The presence of a systemic condition such as metabolic, neurologic, or peripheral vascular disease may require scrupulous foot care by a professional that in the absence of such condition(s) would be considered routine (and, therefore, excluded from coverage). Accordingly, foot care that would otherwise be considered routine may be covered when systemic condition(s) result in severe circulatory embarrassment or areas of diminished sensation in the individual's legs or feet. In these instances, certain foot care procedures that otherwise are considered routine (e.g., cutting or removing corns and calluses, or trimming, cutting, clipping, or debriding nails) may pose a hazard when performed by a nonprofessional person on patients with such systemic conditions.

Although not intended as a comprehensive list, the following metabolic, neurologic, and peripheral vascular diseases (with synonyms in parentheses) most commonly represent the underlying conditions that might justify coverage for routine foot care:

  • Diabetes mellitus *
  • Arteriosclerosis obliterans (A.S.O., arteriosclerosis of the extremities, occlusive peripheral arteriosclerosis)
  • Buerger's disease (thromboangiitis obliterans)
  • Chronic thrombophlebitis *
  • Peripheral neuropathies involving the feet
    • Associated with malnutrition and vitamin deficiency *
      • Malnutrition (general, pellagra)
      • Alcoholism
      • Malabsorption (celiac disease, tropical sprue)
      • Pernicious anemia
    • Associated with carcinoma *
    • Associated with diabetes mellitus *
    • Associated with drugs and toxins *
    • Associated with multiple sclerosis *
    • Associated with uremia (chronic renal disease) *
    • Associated with traumatic injury
    • Associated with leprosy or neurosyphilis
    • Associated with hereditary disorders
      • Hereditary sensory radicular neuropathy
      • Angiokeratoma corporis diffusum (Fabry's)
      • Amyloid neuropathy
  • When the patient's condition is one of those designated above by an asterisk (*), routine procedures are covered only if the patient is under the active care of a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who documents the condition.

In addition, the following may be covered.

  • The treatment of warts (including plantar warts) on the foot is covered to the same extent as services provided for the treatment of warts located elsewhere on the body.
  • In the absence of a systemic condition, treatment of mycotic nails may be covered. The treatment of mycotic nails for an ambulatory patient is covered only when the physician attending the patient's mycotic condition documents that (1) there is clinical evidence of mycosis of the toenail, and (2) the patient has marked limitation of ambulation, pain, or secondary infection resulting from the thickening and dystrophy of the infected toenail plate. The treatment of mycotic nails for a nonambulatory patient is covered only when the physician attending the patient's mycotic condition documents that (1) there is clinical evidence of mycosis of the toenail, and (2) the patient suffers from pain or secondary infection resulting from the thickening and dystrophy of the infected toenail plate.
     

Last Updated Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:06:51 +0000