Indications and Limitations of Coverage
Incident to a physician's professional Service
Inpatient Hospital Services
Outpatient Hospital Services Incident to a Physician's Service
This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.
The use of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) for the relief of acute post-operative pain is covered under Medicare. TENS may be covered whether used as an adjunct to the use of drugs, or as an alternative to drugs, in the treatment of acute pain resulting from surgery.
TENS devices, whether durable or disposable, may be used in furnishing this service. When used for the purpose of treating acute post-operative pain, TENS devices are considered supplies. As such they may be hospital supplies furnished inpatients covered under Part A, or supplies incident to a physician's service when furnished in connection with surgery done on an outpatient basis, and covered under Part B.
It is expected that TENS, when used for acute post-operative pain, will be necessary for relatively short periods of time, usually 30 days or less. In cases when TENS is used for longer periods, Medicare Administrative Contractors should attempt to ascertain whether TENS is no longer being used for acute pain but rather for chronic pain, in which case the TENS device may be covered as durable medical equipment as described in §160.27.
Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 1 "Inpatient Hospital Services," §40;
Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 2 "Hospital Services Covered Under Part B," §§20, 20.4, and 80;
Medicare Benefit Policy Manual, Chapter 15, "Covered Medical and other Health Services, §110."