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National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators (TENS) (280.13)

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Benefit Category
Durable Medical Equipment

Note: This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.

Item/Service Description

TENS is a type of electrical nerve stimulator that is employed to treat chronic intractable pain. This stimulator is attached to the surface of the patient's skin over the peripheral nerve to be stimulated. It may be applied in a variety of settings (in the patient's home, a physician's office, or in an outpatient clinic).

Indications and Limitations of Coverage

Payment for TENS may be made under the durable medical equipment benefit.

Cross Reference
Also see NCDs on Supplies Used in the Delivery of TENS and NMES (§160.13) and TENS for Acute Post-Operative Pain (§10.2).
Transmittal Number


Revision History

07/1995 - Provided coverage of TENS under the DME benefit. Effective date 08/07/1995. (TN 78)