Coverage Policies

Important! Please note:

Current policies effective through April 30, 2024.

Use the index below to search for coverage information on specific medical conditions.

High-Tech Imaging: High-Tech Imaging services are administered by Evolent. For coverage information and authorizations, click here.

Medical Providers: Payment for care or services is based on eligibility, medical necessity and available benefits at time of service and is subject to all contractual exclusions and limitations, including pre-existing conditions if applicable.

Future eligibility cannot be guaranteed and should be rechecked at time of service. Verify benefits by signing into My Account or calling Customer Service at 800.235.7111 or 501.228.7111.

QualChoice follows care guidelines published by MCG Health.

Clinical Practice Guidelines for Providers (PDF)

QualChoice reserves the right to alter, amend, change or supplement medical policies as needed. QualChoice reviews and authorizes services and substances. CPT and HCPCS codes are listed as a convenience and any absent, new or changed codes do not alter the intent of the policy.


Effective Date: 06/01/2012 Title: Hip Resurfacing Arthroplasty
Revision Date: 09/01/2023 Document: BI351:00
CPT Code(s): S2118
Public Statement

Effective Date:

a)    This policy will apply to all services performed on or after the above revision date which will become the new effective date.

b)    For all services referred to in this policy that were performed before the revision date, contact customer service for the rules that would apply.


1)    Hip resurfacing arthroplasty requires preauthorization.

2)    Hip resurfacing arthroplasty is an alternative to total hip replacement in younger, active patients with chronic pain and disability from hip arthritis.

3)    Hip resurfacing is not covered for developmental dysplasia.

Medical Statement

Total Hip Resurfacing:

Hip resurfacing arthroplasty (HRA) with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved device being used for its approved labeled indications is considered medically necessary and is covered as an alternative to total hip replacement for the treatment of hip disease in patients who are younger than age 65 and who meet the following criteria:

  • Have chronic, persistent pain and/or disability from inflammatory or non–inflammatory arthritis, AND
  • Have failed typical nonsurgical management, such as pharmacotherapy and physical therapy, AND
  • Are otherwise fit and active, AND
  • Have minimally abnormal proximal femoral bone geometry and bone quality, AND
  • Would otherwise receive a conventional primary total hip replacement, but are likely to live longer than a conventional total hip replacement (THR) is expected to last.


Contraindications for HRA include:

  • Patients with active or suspected infection in or around the hip joint
  • Patients who are skeletally immature
  • Patients with poor bone stock inadequate to support the device including:
    • Patients with severe osteopenia
    • Patients with a family history of severe osteoporosis or severe osteopenia
    • Patients with osteonecrosis or avascular necrosis (AVN) with > 50% involvement of the femoral head (regardless of Ficat Grade)
    • Patients with multiple cysts of the femoral head (> 1 cm)
  • Patients with any vascular insufficiency, muscular atrophy, or neuromuscular disease severe enough to compromise implant stability or postoperative recovery
  • Females of child bearing age due to unknown effects on the fetus of metal ion release
  • Patients with known moderate or severe renal insufficiency
  • Patients who are immunosuppressed with diseases such as AIDS or persons receiving high doses of corticosteroids
  • Patients who are severely overweight
  • Patients with known or suspected metal sensitivity (e.g., jewelry)
  • Developmental dysplasia

Codes Used In This BI:

S2118            Total hip resurfacing


A total HRA involves replacement of the femoral shell and the acetabulum cup. A total metal-on-metal HRA is proposed for adults, less than age 65 years, with a diagnosis of noninflammatory arthritis such as osteoarthritis, osteonecrosis (i.e., avascular necrosis, aseptic necrosis, and ischemic necrosis), or traumatic arthritis. Total hip resurfacing may also be indicated for inflammatory arthritis conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis. These patients may suffer from chronic pain and disability that are refractory to conservative therapy (e.g., analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, walking aids, and avoidance of pain-producing activities) indicating the need for surgical intervention.

Prior to HRA, total hip replacement (THR) was the surgical treatment of choice. THR involves the replacement of the entire femoral head and stem with a metal prosthesis. During a total HRA, only the top of the femoral head is removed, conserving most of the femoral head and neck. HRA has been associated with adverse local tissue reaction and complications from metal on metal debris.  These potential complications have led to a decline in the use of HRA with patients being more carefully selected to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks Younger surgical candidates are more likely to outlive a THR prosthesis due to a high activity load that can lead to shortened life of the prosthesis and loosening and dislocation of the component. Total HRA is proposed to allow the younger, active patient to avoid multiple THR revisions and/or delay the need for a THR procedure. THR revisions are more difficult to perform, and outcomes are generally not as successful as those seen with an initial THR. Studies have shown that in men under age 50, the functional utility of THR prostheses drops to 80% at 10 years and 33% at 16 years, requiring a second surgery to replace the device. The total HRA may not last longer than a THR, but it is proposed to be easier to convert to a primary THR because the femoral canal is intact and the proximal femoral bone density is preserved.


1)    Back DL, Dalziel R, et al. (2005) Early results of primary Birmingham hip resurfacings. An independent prospective study of the first 230 hips. J Bone Joint Surg Br, 2005; 87:324-9.

2)    Beaule PE, Amstutz HC, et al. (2004) Surface arthroplasty for osteonecrosis of the hip: hemiresurfacing versus metal-on-metal hybrid resurfacing. J Arthroplasty, 2004; 19(8 suppl 3):54-8.

3)    Daniel J, Pynsent PB, McMinn DJ. (2004) Metal-on-metal resurfacing of the hip in patients under the age of 55 years with osteoarthritis. J Bone Joint Surg Br, 2004; 86:177-84.

4)    Girard J, Lavigne M, et al. (2006) Biomechanical reconstruction of the hip: a randomised study comparing total hip resurfacing and total hip arthroplasty. J Bone Joint Surg Br, 2006; 88:721-6.

5)    Grecula MJ. (2005) Resurfacing arthroplasty in osteonecrosis of the hip. Orthop Clin North Am 2005; 36(2):231-42.

6)    McGrath MS, Marker DR, Seyler TM et al. (2009) Surface replacement is comparable to primary total hip arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res 2009; 467(1):94-100.

7)    National Institute for Clinical Excellence, Technical Appraisal No. 44.  June 2002, reviewed Feb 2005.  Guidance on the use of metal on metal hip resurfacing arthroplasty.

8)    Pollard TC, Baker RP, et al. (2006) Treatment of the young active patient with osteoarthritis of the hip. A five- to seven-year comparison of hybrid total hip arthroplasty and metal-on-metal resurfacing. J Bone Joint Surg Br, 2006; 88:592-600

9)    Schmalzried TP, Silva M, et al. (2005) Optimizing patient selection and outcomes with total hip resurfacing. Clin Orthop Relat Res, 2005; 441:200-4.

10)  Hayes Medical Technology Report July 13, 2006, updated June 28, 2010, archived Aug 13, 2011

11) US FDA Ctr for Devices and Radiological Health. (2006) Summary of safety and effectiveness data: Birmingham Hip Resurfacing (BHR) System.

12) US FDA. Hip Implant Systems.

13)  Costa ML, Achten J, Parsons NR, et al. Total hip arthroplasty versus resurfacing arthroplasty in the treatment of patients with arthritis of the hip joint: single centre, parallel group, assessor blinded, randomized controlled trial. The BMJ. 2012; 344:e2147.

14)  McMinn DJW, Daniel J, Ziace H and Pradhan C. Indications and results of hip resurfacing. International Orthopedics (SICOT). 2011; 35:231-237

15)  Sershon R, Balkissoon R and Valle CJ. Current indications for hip resurfacing arthroplasty in 2016. Curr Rev Musculoskeletal Med. 2016; 9(1):84-92


Effective 08/01/2017:  Added more current references that support continued use of this procedure with carefully selected patients.

Effective 09/01/2023:  Updated verbiage.

Application to Products
This policy applies to all health plans administered by QualChoice, both those insured by QualChoice and those that are self-funded by the sponsoring employer, unless there is indication in this policy otherwise or a stated exclusion in your medical plan booklet. Consult the individual plan sponsor Summary Plan Description (SPD) for self-insured plans or the specific Evidence of Coverage (EOC) for those plans insured by QualChoice. In the event of a discrepancy between this policy and a self-insured customer’s SPD or the specific QualChoice EOC, the SPD or EOC, as applicable, will prevail. State and federal mandates will be followed as they apply.
Changes: QualChoice reserves the right to alter, amend, change or supplement benefit interpretations as needed.
This policy has recently been updated. Please use the index above or enter policy title in search bar for the latest version.