CORRECT CODING AND COVERAGE – BRACES CONSTRUCTED PRIMARILY OF ELASTIC OR OTHER FABRIC MATERIALS


Retired and replaced by revised version on 04/05/17

DME MAC Joint Publication

The 2009 PDAC Article “Elastic Garments – Noncovered” is revised to provide a more comprehensive discussion of statutory benefit category requirements and HCPCS coding guidelines applicable to these items.

BENEFIT CATEGORY

All orthoses are covered under the Medicare Braces Benefit (Social Security Act §1861(s)(9)).  For coverage under this benefit, the orthosis must be a rigid or semi-rigid device which is used for the purpose of supporting a weak or deformed body member or restricting or eliminating motion in a diseased or injured part of the body.  Items that are not sufficiently rigid to be capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed do not meet the statutory definition of the Braces Benefit.  Therefore, claims for these items will be denied as noncovered, no benefit category.

The following spinal orthoses HCPCS codes contain both elastic and inelastic items in the same HCPCS code.  The applicable codes are:

  • L0450  - TLSO, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES TRUNK SUPPORT, UPPER THORACIC REGION, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS WITH RIGID STAYS OR PANEL(S), INCLUDES SHOULDER STRAPS AND CLOSURES, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
  • L0454  - TLSO, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES TRUNK SUPPORT, EXTENDS FROM SACROCOCCYGEAL JUNCTION TO ABOVE T-9 VERTEBRA, RESTRICTS GROSS MOTION IN THE SAGITTAL PLANE, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS WITH RIGID STAYS OR PANEL(S), INCLUDES SHOULDER STRAPS AND CLOSURES, PREFABRICATED ITEM THAT HAS BEEN TRIMMED, BENT, MOLDED, ASSEMBLED, OR OTHERWISE CUSTOMIZED TO FIT A SPECIFIC PATIENT BY AN INDIVIDUAL WITH EXPERTISE
  • L0455  - TLSO FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES TRUNK SUPPORT, EXTENDS FROM SACROCOCCYGEAL JUNCTION TO ABOVE T-9 VERTEBRA, RESTRICTS GROSS TRUNK MOTION IN THE SAGITTAL PLANE, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS WITH RIGID STAYS OR PANEL(S), INCLUDES SHOULDER STRAPS AND CLOSURES, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
  • L0621  - SACROILIAC ORTHOSIS, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES PELVIC-SACRAL SUPPORT, REDUCES MOTION ABOUT THE SACROILIAC JOINT, INCLUDES STRAPS, CLOSURES, MAY INCLUDE PENDULOUS ABDOMEN DESIGN, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
  • L0625  - LUMBAR ORTHOSIS, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES LUMBAR SUPPORT, POSTERIOR EXTENDS FROM L-1 TO BELOW L-5 VERTEBRA, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS, INCLUDES STRAPS, CLOSURES, MAY INCLUDE PENDULOUS ABDOMEN DESIGN, SHOULDER STRAPS, STAYS, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
  • L0628  - LUMBAR-SACRAL ORTHOSIS, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES LUMBO-SACRAL SUPPORT, POSTERIOR EXTENDS FROM SACROCOCCYGEAL JUNCTION TO T-9 VERTEBRA, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS, INCLUDES STRAPS, CLOSURES, MAY INCLUDE STAYS, SHOULDER STRAPS, PENDULOUS ABDOMEN DESIGN, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
    There are special HCPCS modifier coding instructions that must be used to bill items made of elastic and inelastic materials.  (See below)
    CODING GUIDELINES
    For the spinal garment codes listed above (L0450, L0454, L0455, L0621, L0625, L0628), effective for claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2009:
  • Items that are primarily constructed of elastic or other stretchable materials (e.g. support items made of material such as neoprene or spandex (elastane, Lycra®) (not all-inclusive)) must add the GY modifier to the code.   
  • Items that are primarily constructed of elastic or other stretchable materials (e.g. support items made of material such as neoprene or spandex (elastane, Lycra®) (not all-inclusive)) that contain stays and/or panels must add the GY modifier to the code. 
  • Items that are primarily of constructed inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed must add the CG modifier to the code.
  • Items that are primarily of constructed inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed and that have stays and/or panels capable of providing the required immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed must add the CG modifier to the code.
  • Items that are not capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed (regardless of materials) must add the GY modifier to the code. 
    If the CG or GY modifier is not used with one of the preceding HCPCS codes, the claim will be rejected as incorrect coding
    For items where the HCPCS code specifies “elastic” use the code that is applicable.
    For items where the HCPCS code does not specify elastic (other than the spinal codes listed above), the following guidelines apply:
  • Items that are primarily constructed of elastic or other stretchable materials (e.g. support items made of material such as neoprene or spandex (elastane, Lycra®) (not all-inclusive)) must be coded as A4466 (GARMENT, BELT, SLEEVE OR OTHER COVERING, ELASTIC OR SIMILAR STRETCHABLE MATERIAL, ANY TYPE, EACH).
  • Items that are primarily constructed of elastic or other stretchable materials (e.g. support items made of material such as neoprene or spandex (elastane, Lycra®]) (not all-inclusive)) that contain stays and/or panels must be coded as A4466 (GARMENT, BELT, SLEEVE OR OTHER COVERING, ELASTIC OR SIMILAR STRETCHABLE MATERIAL, ANY TYPE, EACH).
  • Items that are primarily constructed of inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed must be coded using the applicable specific HCPCS code for the type of product.  A NOC (Not Otherwise Classified) or miscellaneous HCPCS code must not be used.  Refer to the long code narrative and any relevant coding guideline for the criteria applicable for each HCPCS code.
  • Items that are primarily of constructed inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed that have stays and/or panels capable of providing the required immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed must be coded using the applicable specific HCPCS code for the type of product.  A NOC (Not Otherwise Classified) or miscellaneous HCPCS code must not be used.  Refer to the long code narrative and any relevant coding guideline for the criteria applicable for each HCPCS code.
  • Items that are not capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed (regardless of materials) must be coded using A9270 (NONCOVERED ITEM OR SERVICE).
     

This information will be incorporated into a future revision of the Ankle-Foot/Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFO/KAFO), Knee Orthoses (KO), and Spinal Orthoses (LSO/TLSO) LCDs and related Policy Articles.

For questions about correct coding, contact the Pricing, Data Analysis and Coding (PDAC) contractor Contact Center at (877) 735-1326 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday, or e-mail the PDAC by completing the DME PDAC Contact Form.

Published by Noridian as the PDAC, August 2016.  Republished by Palmetto GBA as the PDAC, February 2019



Last Updated: 08/05/2016