Biofeedback – medical applications
These services may or may not be covered by your HealthPartners plan. Please see your plan documents for your specific coverage information. If there is a difference between this general information and your plan documents, your plan documents will be used to determine your coverage.
Prior authorization is not required for Biofeedback for medical applications.
Biofeedback training is generally covered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan involving a member's primary care provider or specialist. Coverage is subject to the Indications listed below, and per your plan documents.
Indications that are covered
Medical applications of biofeedback are covered when received in an outpatient, medically supervised setting from a qualified clinician as part of a medical care plan.
While not an all- inclusive list, medical biofeedback application may be used for the following diagnoses:
- Headache (chronic, recurrent; migraine)
- Intractable musculoskeletal spasm
- Fecal incontinence
- Urinary incontinence (this could include treatment before or after surgeries for other diagnoses that cause urinary incontinence)
- Chronic constipation
Indications that are not covered
Although biofeedback training may be offered for other relaxation and self-regulation, it is considered experimental / investigative due to insufficient evidence. The following modalities are not covered:
- Neurotherapy biofeedback;
- Treatment of ordinary muscle tension states;
- Home biofeedback units are not covered because biofeedback is only covered when it is part of a comprehensive treatment plan involving a patient's primary care physician or relevant specialist.
Biofeedback is a training technique that uses electronic equipment to give information about one’s physiological state. Biofeedback therapy is used to complement other forms of therapy by providing visual, auditory, or other evidence of body functions, so that a person can be taught to exert voluntary control over functions which are otherwise involuntary. The goal is by being aware of the normal body functions; the person can be trained to alleviate an abnormal bodily condition.
Biofeedback therapy often uses electrical devices to transform body signals such as heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, salivation, and gross muscle tone into a light or a tone. This is displayed on a monitor or other device. Biofeedback therapy differs from electromyography, which is a diagnostic procedure to record and study the electrical properties of skeletal muscle. An electromyography device may be used to provide feedback with certain types of biofeedback.
Neurotherapy, also called neurofeedback, is a type of biofeedback that uses real-time displays of brain activity—most commonly electroencephalography (EEG), to teach self-regulation of brain function. Typically, sensors are placed on the scalp to measure activity, with measurements displayed using video displays or sound.
If available, codes are listed below for informational purposes only, and do not guarantee member coverage or provider reimbursement. The list may not be all-inclusive.
Biofeedback training by any modality
Biofeedback training, perineal muscles, anorectal or urethral sphincter, including EMG and/or manometry
This information is for most, but not all, HealthPartners plans. Please read your plan documents to see if your plan has limits or will not cover some items. If there is a difference between this general information and your plan documents, your plan documents will be used to determine your coverage. These coverage criteria may not apply to Medicare Products if Medicare requires different coverage. For more information regarding Medicare coverage criteria or for a copy of a Medicare coverage policy, contact Member Services at 952-883-7979 or 1-800-233-9645.
- Hayes, Inc. Directory. Electroencephalogram (EEG) Biofeedback Therapy. Lansdale, PA: Hayes, Inc. April 2003,Reviewed March 2008
- Hooten WM, Timming R, Belgrade M, Gaul J, Goertz M, Haake B, Myers C, Noonan MP, Owens J, Saeger L, Schweim K, Shteyman G, Walker N. Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. Assessment and Management of Chronic Pain. Updated November 2013.
- ECRI Institute - Biofeedback for Treatment of Fecal Incontinence 03/02/2011
- Up to Date Overview of the treatment of chronic pain Author Ellen WK Rosenquist, MD Section Editor Mark D Aronson, MD Deputy Editor Lee Park, MD, MPH Feb 16, 2016