Medicare no longer requires facility certification for bariatric surgery

July 29th, 2016

Thanks to a recent tweak to Medicare policy, facilities are no longer required to be certified in order for bariatric surgery procedures to be covered, CMS announced in a recent transmittal modifying its National Coverage Determination (NCD) on the procedure. The change took effect September 24.

Left unchanged in the NCD review were the required coverage conditions for bariatric surgery. Before payment can be made for bariatric surgery, Medicare requires these three conditions to be in place:

  1. Patient has a body mass index of greater than or equal to 35
  2. Patient has at least one co-morbidity related to obesity
  3. Previous medical treatments for obesity have not been successful

Common comorbidities for morbid obesity include type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis of venous stasis disease. 

Only certain types of bariatric surgeries are covered by Medicare – open and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGPB), laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) and open and laprascopic biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD/DS). 

Here are the CPT® codes Medicare allows for bariatric surgery:


Medicare no longer requires facility certification for bariatric surgery. (2016, July 29). Find-A-Code Articles. Retrieved from

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