In this article, we are going to tackle the connection of Medicare for gout. Can these be interconnected with each other? Give this article a read and you’ll know the answer! There is no need to worry too much about this because you will learn a lot from this article! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the read!
Medicare for Gout: How does it cover the condition?
If you are suffering from gout, you know that gout attacks are extremely painful and much unexpected. What the good news here is that the treatments available may help in managing the pain. Not just that, it may also reduce the frequency of the attacks as well as the potential for various complications.
If you happen to have Medicare, here is what you should know about the coverage of Medicare in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic and acute gout.
Medicare for Gout: Diagnosis
We know that a gout is a form of arthritis with distinct, unsubtle signs and symptoms. This means it is generally easy for the doctor to diagnose even without so many additional medical examinations. In various cases, the symptoms may mimic a certain bacterial infection in the joints. This requires additional testing in order to confirm the presence of gout.
Additionally, there are various tests and procedures that doctors may suggest in order to determine the uric acid level. As well as the creatinine in the blood. They do this as well to check for the presence of some urate crystals in the asymptomatic joints.
Various tests and procedures may include the following:
- CT scans for the searching of crystals in the joints, even though these are seldom ordered.
- Ultrasound for the detection of tophi if chronic tophaceous gout is assumed.
- Blood work for the ruling out of infections and in checking the levels of the uric acid.
- The joint fluid aspiration for the detection of the urate crystals.
What does it cover?
Part B actually covers all of the doctor visits that are medically necessary as well as the outpatient examinations for the diagnosis of gout. You will be paying 20% of the allowable charges after the Part B deductible has been met. If you happen to have enrolled in a Medigap plan, then that will cover some or even all of the 20%, depending on whichever plan you enroll.
Furthermore, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, the cost-sharing may be a bit different. You can pay a certain copayment amount for the outpatient exams and doctor visits, and you may not or may have a deductible. You should always check your plan’s summary of benefits for the specifics on what you are ought to pay.
Medicare for Gout: Treatment
The treatment for gout actually has three objectives –to manage the pain and symptoms of an acute gout attack, to prevent or reduce the occurrence of the attacks, and to prevent the complications of gout.
Most of the gout treatments are in the form of medications. This may include the following:
- Prescription drugs like uricosurics, which is beneficial for the kidneys in removing the uric acid out from the body.
- Prescription medications like Uloric and Aloprim, which blocks the uric acid production.
- Corticosteroids, which is beneficial in treating joint pain and inflammation. These may be taken just like an oral medication in the form of pills. Moreover, it may also be injected in the affected joints.
- Colchicine, which is beneficial for both daily treatment to avert future gout attacks and provide relief during an acute gout flare-up.
- Prescription pain drugs like Celebrex or Indocin.
- Over-the-counter NSAIDs or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen. These are beneficial in taking away the pain.
What Does It Cover?
The original Medicare does not generally cover any retail over-the-counter medications and outpatient prescription drugs that you take home. Thus, most gout treatment is not covered under the part B. the only exception is the steroid injections that are given in the office of the doctor. Part B is going to pay the 80% of the allowable charges for a steroid injection.
Nevertheless, if you have part D coverage for the prescription drugs, the if not all, most of the gout treatment prescription medications must be covered. Varying on the plant that you choose, you may have a percentage-based flat copayment or cost-sharing structure. Moreover, some plans have tiered cost-sharing structures, wherein the costly charges are way lower for lesser expensive generic drugs and higher for the specialty and branded medicines.
Your doctor may recommend that you change your diet and lifestyle in order to reduce the risk of the complications from gout as well as prevent the future attacks. This may include losing weight. If you are overweight, then Medicare may also provide you with some counseling sessions.
Truly Medicare is beneficial for everyone –just like those who suffer from gout!