Prompted, in part, by requests from various manufacturers of support surfaces for coverage of their products, the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) requested the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's Technology Evaluation Center (TEC) to conduct an assessment of the various types of support surfaces in July of 1997.
The TEC assessment indicated that "available data are insufficient to evaluate the health outcomes of treatment with air-fluidized therapy as compared to either treatment with Group I or Group II pressure reducing support surfaces in patients at risk of developing pressure ulcers or in patients with established pressure ulcers". HCFA is reviewing our pressure reducing therapy policy, in light of information brought to our attention subsequent to the TEC assessment, to determine which types of support surfaces meet the reasonable and necessary provision at §1862(a)(1)(A) of the Medicare statute.
Since posting the above notice, we have been contacted by members of the support surface community with questions regarding the review process. Therefore, we are requesting that all interested parties send HCFA information on the following: