Many insurance companies will reimburse all or a portion of the cost of a light therapy device if proper diagnosis has been made by a qualified health professional. The following sample letter has been prepared to assist you in requesting reimbursement. It is to be prepared and signed by your doctor.


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: (Insurance carrier)

This is to certify that _(your name)_ is a patient of mine. (S)he is being treated for recurrent major depressions with a seasonal pattern.

Referral to "seasonal patterns of depression" has been included in the most recent revision of the _Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV)_. Phototherapy is no longer considered experimental, but is a mainstream type of psychiatric treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the December 8, 1993 issue of _The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)_, "For many patients with SAD, light therapy should be regarded as a first-line treatment, given its high success and acceptance rate" (Vol. 270, No. 22, pages 2717-2720). In 1989, the American Psychiatric Association's Task Force on Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders (Vol. 3, pages 1890-1986, A.P.A. Press), recommended light therapy as treatment for the range of clinical depression diagnoses including:


DSM IV-296.3x / Major Depression, Recurrent
DSM IV-296.4x / Bipolar Disorder, most recent episode-Manic
DSM IV-296.5x / Bipolar Disorder, Depressed
DSM IV-296.6x / Bipolar Disorder, Mixed
DSM IV-296.70 / Bipolar Disorder, NOS
DSM IV-311.00 / Depressive Disorder, NOS

In order to administer phototherapy adequately, a bright light unit is required. In _(your name)_'s case, the use of the bright light unit should be regarded as a medical necessity and preferable to other forms of treatment.

These procedures conform to April, 1993 U.S. Public Health Service-Agency for Health Care Policy and Research guidelines for management of this disorder.

AHCPR93-0551 / Depress: Guideline Vol. 2
AHCPR93-0553 / Depress: Patient Guide


Dr. _____________________

Revised 7/95
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