Medicare to Pay for 'Facial Fillers' in HIV Patients

The U.S. Medicare program will pay for the use of facial filling treatments in certain HIV patients with sunken cheeks and other similar problems who are also depressed, the government said on Tuesday.

The move impacts dermal fillers such as BioForm Medical's Radiesse and Sanofi-Aventis SA's Sculptra. Merz GmbH & Co acquired BioForm last month.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said its review of current data found use of the products helped benefit HIV patients with facial lipodystrophy syndrome (LDS) who also experienced depression. Other HIV patients with the fat-wasting syndrome will not be covered.

CMS oversees healthcare coverage for 45 million elderly and disabled Americans. While HIV is "quite rare" in Medicare patients, who are 65 and older, patients who are disabled could qualify for the coverage, the agency said.