Medicare Advantage

Complementary and Integrative Health Services
MA12.001d


Policy

Complementary and integrative health services (alternative therapies and complementary medicine) are not covered by the Company because they are services that are not covered by Medicare. Therefore, they are not eligible for reimbursement consideration.

For information regarding acupuncture, please refer to medical policy MA12.004, Acupuncture.

The following are examples of complementary and integrative health services (alternative therapies and complementary medicine). This list is not all-inclusive.
  • Active release technique
  • Acupressure
  • Alexander technique
  • AMMA Therapy®
  • Antineoplaston therapy
  • Apitherapy
  • Applied kinesiology (AK)
  • Aromatherapy
  • Art therapy
  • Auto-urine therapy
  • Ayurveda
  • Bilberry
  • Bioenergetic therapy
  • Biofield CanCell (Entelev) therapeutics
  • Bioidentical hormones
  • Black cohosh
  • Bovine cartilage products
  • Cat’s claw
  • Cellular therapy
  • Chinese medicine
  • Chung Moo Doe therapy
  • Coley's toxin
  • Colonic irrigation
  • Conceptual mind-body techniques
  • Coriolus versicolor
  • Craniosacral therapy
  • Crystal healing
  • Cupping
  • Dance/movement therapy
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Digital myography
  • Ear candling
  • Echinacea
  • Educational therapy
  • Egoscue method
  • Electrodiagnosis (EAV)
  • Electromagnetic fields
  • Electrosleep therapy
  • Equestrian therapy
  • Essential metabolics analysis (EMA)
  • Essiac
  • Faith healing
  • Feldenkrais therapy
  • Flower essences
  • Functional intracellular analysis
  • Gemstone therapy
  • Gerson therapy
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Greek cancer cure
  • Guided imagery, interactive
  • Hair analysis
  • Herbal medicine/botanicals
  • Hellerwork
  • Hippotherapy
  • Homeopathy
  • Hoxsey method
  • Humor therapy
  • Hydrazine sulfate therapy
  • Hydrogen peroxide, intravenous
  • Hyperoxygen therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Immunoaugmentive therapy
  • Infratronic Qigong therapy
  • Intravenous histamine therapy
  • Inversion therapy
  • Iridology
  • Kelley/Gonzales therapy
  • Laetrile
  • Light therapy
  • Live blood cell analysis
  • Lorenzo’s oil
  • Macrobiotics
  • Magnet therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation/Transcendental Meditation (TM®)
  • Megavitamin therapy
  • Meridian therapy
  • Millimeter wave therapy
  • Mistletoe (Iscador®)
  • Moxibustion therapy
  • MTH-68 vaccine
  • Music therapy
  • Myotherapy
  • Naturopathy
  • Neural therapy
  • Ozone therapy
  • Pfrimmer deep muscle therapy
  • Pilates
  • Polarity therapy
  • Primal therapy
  • Progressive relaxation
  • Psychodrama
  • Purging
  • Qigong longevity exercises
  • Ream's testing
  • Recreational therapy
  • Reflexology (zone therapy)
  • Reiki
  • Red yeast rice
  • Remedial massage
  • Revici's guided chemotherapy
  • Rolfing (structural integration)
  • Rubenfeld synergy method (RSM)
  • Sarapin injections
  • Saw palmetto
  • Seven-fourteen X (714-X)
  • Shark cartilage products
  • Sleep therapy
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Tai chi
  • Therapeutic eurythmy-movement therapy
  • Therapeutic touch
  • Thermogenic therapy
  • Thought field therapy (TFT)
  • Thunder God Vine
  • Trager body work
  • Transillumination light scanning, or Diaphanography
  • Wilderness therapy
  • Wurn technique/Clear Passage Therapy®
  • Yoga
  • Yohimbe

Guidelines

This policy is consistent with Medicare's coverage determination for complementary and integrative health services (alternative therapies and complementary medicine).

Subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable Evidence of Coverage, complementary and integrative health services (alternative therapies and complementary medicine) are not eligible for payment under the medical benefits of the Company’s Medicare Advantage products because these services are not covered by Medicare.

Massage therapy, a complementary and integrative health service (alternative therapy and complementary medicine), is not covered for most Company products, with the following exception:
  • Therapeutic massage is a covered service when it is provided by an eligible provider.
    • Therapeutic massage is a medically prescribed treatment for physical disabilities or impairments resulting from disease, injury, or congenital anomaly. Therapeutic massage is performed in conjunction with other treatment interventions or modalities and can be rendered by eligible allied health professionals who are defined as such in the respective benefit contracts.

For information regarding therapeutic massage, please refer to policy MA10.003 - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Services: Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT).

Description


The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), formerly the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is the Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. The mission of the NCCIH is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative interventions and to provide the public with research-based information to guide healthcare decision making.

Conventional medicine is defined as medicine practiced by holders of medical doctor (MD) or doctor of osteopathy (DO) degrees and by allied health professionals, such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses. Conventional medicine commonly utilizes clinical studies, clinical trials, and peer-reviewed literature to help determine efficacy and safety.

Large population-based surveys have found that the use of alternative medicine (i.e., unproven non-mainstream practices used in place of conventional medicine) is rare. Integrative health care, defined as a comprehensive, often interdisciplinary approach to treatment, prevention, and health promotion that brings together complementary and conventional medicine, is more common. The intent of an integrative approach is to enhance overall health, prevent disease, and to alleviate debilitating symptoms such as pain and stress and anxiety management that often affects individuals coping with complex and chronic disease, among others. However, unlike conventional medicine which relies upon carefully designed trials and research, the scientific foundation for many complementary health approaches are generally not supported by clinical evidence because their effectiveness and safety is unproven in medical literature.

The NCCIH classifies complementary health approaches not considered an integral part of conventional medicine into five broad categories:
  • Alternative medical systems (e.g., homeopathy, naturopathy, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine)
  • Mind-body interventions: A variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms (e.g., meditation, prayer, mental healing, and therapies that use creative outlets such as art, music, or dance)
  • Biologically based therapies: The use of natural substances such as herbs, foods, vitamins, or nutritional supplements to prevent and treat illness (e.g., macrobiotics, megavitamin therapy)
  • Manipulative and body-based methods (e.g., massage, equestrian/hippotherapy)
  • Energy therapies: Therapies involving the use of energy fields. They are of two types:
    • Biofield therapies: Therapies that are intended to affect energy fields that some claim surround and penetrate the human body. This includes forms of energy therapy that manipulate biofields by applying pressure and/or manipulating the body by placing the hands in, or through, these fields (e.g., Qi Gong, Reiki, and therapeutic touch).
    • Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies: Therapies involving the unconventional use of electromagnetic fields (e.g., pulsed fields, magnetic fields, or alternating-current or direct-current fields)

References


American Art Therapy Association. About art therapy. [American Art Therapy Association Web site]. Available at: http://www.arttherapy.org/. Accessed April 13, 2020.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). National Coverage Determinations Manual.30: Complementary and alternative medicine. [CMS Web site]. 04/03/2018. Available at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/manuals/downloads/ncd103c1_Part1.pdf. Accessed April 13, 2020.

Company Benefit Contracts.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Complementary, alternative, or integrative health: What's in a name? [NCCIH Web site]. 06/28/2016. Available at: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/complementary-alternative-or-integrative-health-whats-in-a-name. Accessed April 13, 2020.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Almanac. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Mission. [NIH Web site]. 03/17/2016. Available at:
https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/nih-almanac/national-center-complementary-integrative-health-nccih. Accessed April 13, 2020.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Frequently Asked Questions: Name Change. [NCCIH Web site]. 12/17/2014. Available at: https://nccih.nih.gov/news/name-change-faq. Accessed April 13, 2020.

National Institutes of Health (NIH). News releases. NIH complementary and integrative health agency gets new name. [NIH Web site]. 12/17/2014. Available at:
https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-complementary-integrative-health-agency-gets-new-name. Accessed April 13, 2020.

Qigong Association of America. FAQ: What is Qigong? [Qigong Association of America Web site]. 02/05/15. Available at: http://qi.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=43. Accessed April 13, 2020.

Rolf Institute of Structural Integration. [Rolf Institute of Structural Integration Web site]. 2018. Available at: http://www.rolf.org/. Accessed April 13, 2020.

Tabish SA. Complementary and Alternative Healthcare: Is it Evidence-based? International Journal of Health Sciences. 2008;2(1):V-IX. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068720/. Accessed April 13, 2020.

US Department of Health and Human Services. NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health - NCCIH. Online resources. 01/2018. Available at: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/finding-and-evaluating-online-resources. Accessed April 13, 2020.

World Health Organization. Electromagnetic Fields. [WHO Web site]. 2015. Available at: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/en/. Accessed April 13, 2020.


Coding

CPT Procedure Code Number(s)
90880

ICD - 10 Procedure Code Number(s)
N/A

ICD - 10 Diagnosis Code Number(s)
N/A

HCPCS Level II Code Number(s)

G0176 Activity therapy, such as music, dance, art or play therapies not for recreation, related to the care and treatment of patient's disabling mental health problems, per session (45 minutes or more)

J3570 Laetrile, amygdalin, vitamin B-17

M0075 Cellular therapy

S8940 Equestrian/hippotherapy, per session

Revenue Code Number(s)

1006 Outdoor/wilderness behavioral healthcare

2100 General Classification Alternative Therapy Services

2102 Acupressure

2103 Massage

2104 Reflexology

2106 Hypnosis

2109 Other Alternative Therapy Services



Coding and Billing Requirements



Policy History

1/21/2020
5/11/2020
 
MA12.001
Claim Payment Policy Bulletin
Medicare Advantage
No