National Coverage Analysis (NCA) Tracking Sheet

Pneumatic Compression Pumps for Venous Insufficiency



On April 28, 2000, we posted notice of our intent to review our current policy on the use of pneumatic compression devices for the treatment of lymphedema. Although there are various causes of lymphedema, these pumps are primarily used in dealing with the after effects of cancer treatment (lymphatics destroyed or damaged by surgery or radiation) or in dealing with venous insufficiency. We asked that interested and knowledgeable parties in this matter submit evidence relating to pump use for inclusion in our review. In reviewing the literature we received relating to venous insufficiency, we failed to find a consensus on guidelines for the use of these pumps. Therefore, we are continuing the review on pneumatic compression pumps for venous insufficiency.

National Coverage Determinations

Benefit Category

Durable Medical Equipment

Requestor Information

Requestor Name Requestor Letter
HCFA internally generated request N/A

Important Dates

Formal Request Accepted and Review Initiated
Expected NCA Completion Date
Public Comment Period
11/24/2000 - 12/24/2000
Proposed Decision Memo Due Date
Proposed Decision Memo Released
Proposed Decision Memo Public Comment Period
Decision Memo Released


Lead Analysts
Lorrie Ballantine
Lead Medical Officers
John Whyte, MD, MPH

Medicare Benefit Category Determination Date

Actions Taken

November 2, 2000

CMS requested that AHRQ perform a review and assessment of peer review literature dealing with the use of pneumatic compression devices for the treatment of lymphedema in the home setting with particular emphasis on treatment of edema and ulceration of the lower extremities. We asked that the assessment be completed by April 1, 2001.

April 2, 2001

Technology Assessment is not complete. We expect to be able to issue a decision by June 30, 2001.

August 31, 2001

The final version of the Technology Assessment was received on July 14, 2001. CMS has 60 days from this receipt date to complete a decision memorandum, making the expected date of posting September 15, 2001.

September 27, 2001

The due date for this request has been extended to October 27, 2001, to allow for additional review of this matter.

October 25, 2001

Decision Memorandum posted, which announces CMS's intent to cover the use of pneumatic compression pumps for patients with refractory edema from CVI with significant ulceration of the lower extremities that have received standard therapy but have failed to heal after six months of continuous treatment.

January 2002

NCD updated.