For any item to be covered by Medicare, it must 1) be eligible for a defined Medicare benefit category, 2) be reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member, and 3) meet all other applicable Medicare statutory and regulatory requirements.
The purpose of a Local Coverage Determination (LCD) is to provide information regarding “reasonable and necessary” criteria based on Social Security Act § 1862(a)(1)(A) provisions.
In addition to the “reasonable and necessary” criteria contained in this LCD there are other payment rules, which are discussed in the following documents, that must also be met prior to Medicare reimbursement:
- The LCD-related Standard Documentation Requirements Article, located at the bottom of this policy under the Related Local Coverage Documents section.
- The LCD-related Policy Article, located at the bottom of this policy under the Related Local Coverage Documents section.
- Refer to the Supplier Manual for additional information on documentation requirements.
- Refer to the DME MAC web sites for additional bulletin articles and other publications related to this LCD.
For the items addressed in this LCD, the “reasonable and necessary” criteria, based on Social Security Act § 1862(a)(1)(A) provisions, are defined by the following coverage indications, limitations and/or medical necessity.
A seat lift mechanism is covered if all of the following criteria are met:
- The beneficiary must have severe arthritis of the hip or knee or have a severe neuromuscular disease.
- The seat lift mechanism must be a part of the treating practitioner’s course of treatment and be prescribed to effect improvement, or arrest or retard deterioration in the beneficiary's condition.
- The beneficiary must be completely incapable of standing up from a regular armchair or any chair in their home. (The fact that a beneficiary has difficulty or is even incapable of getting up from a chair, particularly a low chair, is not sufficient justification for a seat lift mechanism. Almost all beneficiaries who are capable of ambulating can get out of an ordinary chair if the seat height is appropriate and the chair has arms.)
- Once standing, the beneficiary must have the ability to ambulate.
Coverage of seat lift mechanisms is limited to those types which operate smoothly, can be controlled by the beneficiary, and effectively assist a beneficiary in standing up and sitting down without other assistance. Excluded from coverage is the type of lift which operates by spring release mechanism with a sudden, catapult-like motion and jolts the beneficiary from a seated to a standing position.
The practitioner ordering the seat lift mechanism must be the treating practitioner or a consulting practitioner for the disease or condition resulting in the need for a seat lift. The practitioner's record must document that all appropriate therapeutic modalities (e.g., medication, physical therapy) have been tried and failed to enable the beneficiary to transfer from a chair to a standing position.
A Standard Written Order (SWO) must be communicated to the supplier before a claim is submitted. If the supplier bills for an item addressed in this policy without first receiving a completed SWO, the claim shall be denied as not reasonable and necessary.
For Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) base items that require a Written Order Prior to Delivery (WOPD), the supplier must have received a signed SWO before the DMEPOS item is delivered to a beneficiary. If a supplier delivers a DMEPOS item without first receiving a WOPD, the claim shall be denied as not reasonable and necessary. Refer to the LCD-related Policy Article, located at the bottom of this policy under the Related Local Coverage Documents section.
For DMEPOS base items that require a WOPD, and also require separately billed associated options, accessories, and/or supplies, the supplier must have received a WOPD which lists the base item and which may list all the associated options, accessories, and/or supplies that are separately billed prior to the delivery of the items. In this scenario, if the supplier separately bills for associated options, accessories, and/or supplies without first receiving a completed and signed WOPD of the base item prior to delivery, the claim(s) shall be denied as not reasonable and necessary.
An item/service is correctly coded when it meets all the coding guidelines listed in CMS HCPCS guidelines, LCDs, LCD-related Policy Articles, or DME MAC articles. Claims that do not meet coding guidelines shall be denied as not reasonable and necessary/incorrectly coded.
Proof of delivery (POD) is a Supplier Standard and DMEPOS suppliers are required to maintain POD documentation in their files. Proof of delivery documentation must be made available to the Medicare contractor upon request. All services that do not have appropriate proof of delivery from the supplier shall be denied as not reasonable and necessary.