Medicare Pays Millions for Eyelid Lifts

May 28, 2013

The number of eyelid lifts charged to Medicare tripled over a decade, even though the federal health-care program is not supposed to pay for cosmetic surgery, the Center for Public Integrity reports.

Before and after blepharoplasty.
Credit Eye Associates of Fort Myers, Naples

More than half of the procedures, called blepharoplasty, were billed from Florida, the center reports. One South Florida surgeon billed Medicare for 2,200 eyelifts in 2008 and was paid $800,000, according to an analysis of payment records.

Surgeons may  be getting around the proscription on coverage for cosmetic surgery by saying that  patients' sagging eyelids significantly hinder their vision.