National Coverage Determination (NCD)

Bladder Stimulators (Pacemakers)


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Tracking Information

Publication Number
Manual Section Number
Manual Section Title
Bladder Stimulators (Pacemakers)
Version Number
Effective Date of this Version

Description Information

Benefit Category
Prosthetic Devices

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

Item/Service Description

There are a number of devices available to induce emptying of the urinary bladder by using electrical current which forces the muscles of the bladder to contract. These devices (commonly known as bladder stimulators or pacemakers) are characterized by the implantation of electrodes in the wall of the bladder, the rectal cones, or the spinal cord. While these treatments may effectively empty the bladder, the issue of safety involving the initiation of infection, erosion, placement, and material selection has not been resolved. Further, some facilities previously using electronic emptying have stopped using this method due to the pain experienced by the patient.

Indications and Limitations of Coverage

The use of spinal cord electrical stimulators, rectal electrical stimulators, and bladder wall stimulators is not considered reasonable and necessary. Therefore, no program payment may be made for these devices or for their implant.

Transmittal Information

Transmittal Number
Revision History

02/1995 - Reflected that pelvic floor stimulators used as a treatment for urinary incontinence are not covered. Effective date 03/01/1995. (TN 74)

09/1996 - Eliminated use of name brand products. Effective date 10/07/1996. (TN 89)

Additional Information

Other Versions
Title Version Effective Between
Bladder Stimulators (Pacemakers) 1 10/07/1996 - N/A You are here