(a) General rules.
(1) As used in this section, packed red cells means the red blood cells that remain after plasma is separated from whole blood.
(2) A unit of packed red cells is treated as the equivalent of a pint of whole blood, which in this section is referred to as a unit of whole blood.
(3) Medicare does not pay for the first 3 units of whole blood or units of packed red cells that are furnished under Part A or Part B in a calendar year. The Part B blood deductible is reduced to the extent that a blood deductible has been applied under Part A.
(4) The blood deductible does not apply to other blood components such as platelets, fibrinogen, plasma, gamma globulin and serum albumin, or to the costs of processing, storing, and administering blood.
(5) The blood deductible is in addition to the Part B annual deductible specified in § 410.160.
(b) Beneficiary's responsibility for the first 3 units of blood.
(1) The beneficiary is responsible for the first three units of whole blood or packed red cells received during a calendar year.
(3) If the blood is furnished by a physician, clinic, or other supplier that has accepted assignment of Medicare benefits, or claims payment under § 424.64 of this chapter because the beneficiary died without assigning benefits, the supplier may charge the beneficiary the reasonable charge for the first 3 units, to the extent that those units are not replaced.