National Coverage Determination (NCD)

Cochlear Implantation

50.3

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Tracking Information

Publication Number
100-3
Manual Section Number
50.3
Manual Section Title
Cochlear Implantation
Version Number
2
Effective Date of this Version
04/04/2005
Implementation Date
07/25/2005

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

A. General

A cochlear implant device is an electronic instrument, part of which is implanted surgically to stimulate auditory nerve fibers, and part of which is worn or carried by the individual to capture, analyze, and code sound. Cochlear implant devices are available in single-channel and multi-channel models. The purpose of implanting the device is to provide awareness and identification of sounds and to facilitate communication for persons who are moderately to profoundly hearing impaired.

Indications and Limitations of Coverage

B. Nationally Covered Indications

1. Effective for services performed on or after April 4, 2005, cochlear implantation may be covered for treatment of bilateral pre- or-post-linguistic, sensorineural, moderate-to-profound hearing loss in individuals who demonstrate limited benefit from amplification. Limited benefit from amplification is defined by test scores of less than or equal to 40% correct in the best-aided listening condition on tape-recorded tests of open-set sentence cognition. Medicare coverage is provided only for those patients who meet all of the following selection guidelines.

  • Diagnosis of bilateral moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing impairment with limited benefit from appropriate hearing (or vibrotactile) aids;
  • Cognitive ability to use auditory clues and a willingness to undergo an extended program of rehabilitation;
  • Freedom from middle ear infection, an accessible cochlear lumen that is structurally suited to implantation, and freedom from lesions in the auditory nerve and acoustic areas of the central nervous system;
  • No contraindications to surgery; and
  • The device must be used in accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved labeling.

2. Effective for services performed on or after April 4, 2005, cochlear implantation may be covered for individuals meeting the selection guidelines above and with hearing test scores of greater than 40% and less than or equal to 60% only when the provider is participating in, and patients are enrolled in, either an FDA-approved category B investigational device exemption clinical trial as defined at 42 CFR 405.201, a trial under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Clinical Trial Policy as defined at section 310.1 of the National Coverage Determinations Manual, or a prospective, controlled comparative trial approved by CMS as consistent with the evidentiary requirements for National Coverage Analyses and meeting specific quality standards.

C. Nationally Non-Covered Indications

Medicare beneficiaries not meeting all of the coverage criteria for cochlear implantation listed are deemed not eligible for Medicare coverage under section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act.

D. Other

All other indications for cochlear implantation not otherwise indicated as nationally covered or non-covered above remain at local Medicare Administrator Contractor discretion.

Cross Reference

CED page

Claims Processing Instructions

Transmittal Information

Transmittal Number
42
Revision History

09/1986 - Provided coverage for post-lingual deaf adults. Effective date 10/01/1986. (TN 10)

12/1992 - Allowed coverage for children ages 2 through 17 with bilateral profound sensorineural hearing impairment and demonstrate little or no benefit from a hearing aid. Effective date 12/31/1992. (TN 64)

04/1998 - Updated coverage policy consistent with changes in technology and FDA labeling for product, and expanded coverage for children and adults. Effective date 05/01/1998. (TN 104) (CR 390)

07/2005 - Expanded coverage to cover moderate-to-profound hearing loss in individuals with specified hearing test scores. Effective date 04/04/2005. Implementation date 07/25/2005. (TN 42) (CR 3796)

03/2013 - CMS translated the information for this policy from ICD-9-CM/PCS to ICD-10-CM/PCS according to HIPAA standard medical data code set requirements and updated any necessary and related coding infrastructure. These updates do not expand, restrict, or alter existing coverage policy. Implementation date: 10/07/2013 Effective date: 10/1/2015. (TN 1199) (TN 1199) (CR 8197)

05/2014 - CMS translated the information for this policy from ICD-9-CM/PCS to ICD-10-CM/PCS according to HIPAA standard medical data code set requirements and updated any necessary and related coding infrastructure. These updates do not expand, restrict, or alter existing coverage policy. Implementation date: 10/06/2014 Effective date: 10/1/2015. (TN 1388) (TN 1388) (CR 8691)

05/2016 - This change request (CR) is the 7th maintenance update of ICD-10 conversions and other coding updates specific to national coverage determinations (NCDs). The majority of the NCDs included are a result of feedback received from previous ICD-10 NCD CR7818, CR8109, CR8197, CR8691, CR9087, CR9252, and CR9540. Some are the result of revisions required to other NCD-related CRs released separately. Edits to ICD-10 and other coding updates specific to NCDs will be included in subsequent, quarterly releases as needed. No policy-related changes are included with these updates. Any policy-related changes to NCDs continue to be implemented via the current, long-standing NCD process. (TN 1665) (CR9631)

06/2016 - Transmittal 1665, dated May 13, 2016, is being rescinded and replaced by Transmittal 1672 to: (1) 9631.1: Remove FISS responsibility and 1st sentence; (2) 9631.2: Remove additional procedure codes, including 0075T, 0076T; (3) 9631.4: Revise descriptor of dx L59.8; (4) 9631.6: Add deletion of dx C49.10, C65.9, remove deletion of dx C54.9, remove deletion of invalid dx C47.90; (5) 9631.8: Remove deletion of invalid dx C51.29, replace with deletion of dx C50.029; (6) 9631.9: Add deletion of 0V504ZZ, 0V500ZZ, override capability, and contractor discretion verbiage. All other information remains the same. (TN 1672) (CR9631)

07/2020 - This Change Request (CR) constitutes a maintenance update of ICD-10 conversions and other coding updates specific to NCDs. These NCD coding changes are the result of newly available codes, coding revisions to NCDs released separately, or coding feedback received. (TN 10261) (CR11905)

National Coverage Analyses (NCAs)

This NCD has been or is currently being reviewed under the National Coverage Determination process. The following are existing associations with NCAs, from the National Coverage Analyses database.

Additional Information

Other Versions
Title Version Effective Between
Cochlear Implantation 2 04/04/2005 - N/A You are here
Cochlear Implantation 1 05/01/1998 - 04/04/2005 View