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March 16, 2017

Correct Coding and Coverage – Braces Constructed Primarily of Elastic or Other Fabric Materials - Revised

DME MAC Joint Publication

Benefit Category

All orthoses are covered under the Medicare Braces Benefit (Social Security Act §1861(s)(9)). For coverage under this benefit, the orthosis must be a rigid or semi-rigid device that is used for the purpose of supporting a weak or deformed body member or restricting or eliminating motion in a diseased or injured part of the body. Items that are not sufficiently rigid to be capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed do not meet the statutory definition of the Braces Benefit. Therefore, claims for these items will be denied as noncovered, no benefit category.

The following spinal orthoses HCPCS codes contain both elastic and inelastic items in the same HCPCS code. The applicable codes are:

  • L0450 - TLSO, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES TRUNK SUPPORT, UPPER THORACIC REGION, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS WITH RIGID STAYS OR PANEL(S), INCLUDES SHOULDER STRAPS AND CLOSURES, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
  • L0454 - TLSO, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES TRUNK SUPPORT, EXTENDS FROM SACROCOCCYGEAL JUNCTION TO ABOVE T-9 VERTEBRA, RESTRICTS GROSS MOTION IN THE SAGITTAL PLANE, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS WITH RIGID STAYS OR PANEL(S), INCLUDES SHOULDER STRAPS AND CLOSURES, PREFABRICATED ITEM THAT HAS BEEN TRIMMED, BENT, MOLDED, ASSEMBLED, OR OTHERWISE CUSTOMIZED TO FIT A SPECIFIC PATIENT BY AN INDIVIDUAL WITH EXPERTISE
  • L0455 - TLSO FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES TRUNK SUPPORT, EXTENDS FROM SACROCOCCYGEAL JUNCTION TO ABOVE T-9 VERTEBRA, RESTRICTS GROSS TRUNK MOTION IN THE SAGITTAL PLANE, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS WITH RIGID STAYS OR PANEL(S), INCLUDES SHOULDER STRAPS AND CLOSURES, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
  • L0621 - SACROILIAC ORTHOSIS, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES PELVIC-SACRAL SUPPORT, REDUCES MOTION ABOUT THE SACROILIAC JOINT, INCLUDES STRAPS, CLOSURES, MAY INCLUDE PENDULOUS ABDOMEN DESIGN, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
  • L0625 - LUMBAR ORTHOSIS, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES LUMBAR SUPPORT, POSTERIOR EXTENDS FROM L-1 TO BELOW L-5 VERTEBRA, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS, INCLUDES STRAPS, CLOSURES, MAY INCLUDE PENDULOUS ABDOMEN DESIGN, SHOULDER STRAPS, STAYS, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF
  • L0628 - LUMBAR-SACRAL ORTHOSIS, FLEXIBLE, PROVIDES LUMBO-SACRAL SUPPORT, POSTERIOR EXTENDS FROM SACROCOCCYGEAL JUNCTION TO T-9 VERTEBRA, PRODUCES INTRACAVITARY PRESSURE TO REDUCE LOAD ON THE INTERVERTEBRAL DISKS, INCLUDES STRAPS, CLOSURES, MAY INCLUDE STAYS, SHOULDER STRAPS, PENDULOUS ABDOMEN DESIGN, PREFABRICATED, OFF-THE-SHELF

There are special HCPCS modifier coding instructions that must be used to separate items made of elastic and inelastic materials. (See below)

Coding Guidelines

For the spinal garment codes listed above (L0450, L0454, L0455, L0621, L0625, L0628), effective for claims with dates of service on or after April 1, 2009:

  • Items that are primarily constructed of elastic or other stretchable materials (e.g. support items made of material such as neoprene or spandex (elastane, Lycra®) (not all-inclusive)) must add the GY modifier to the code.
  • Items that are primarily constructed of elastic or other stretchable materials (e.g. support items made of material such as neoprene or spandex (elastane, Lycra®) (not all-inclusive)) that contain stays and/or panels must add the GY modifier to the code.
  • Items that are primarily constructed of inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed must add the CG modifier to the code.
  • Items that are primarily constructed of inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed and that have stays and/or panels capable of providing the required immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed must add the CG modifier to the code.
  • Items that are not capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed (regardless of materials) must add the GY modifier to the code.

If the CG or GY modifier is not used with one of the preceding HCPCS codes, the claim will be rejected as incorrect coding.

For items where the HCPCS code specifies "elastic" use the specific HCPCS code that is applicable.

For items where the HCPCS code does not specify elastic (other than the spinal codes listed above), the following guidelines apply:

  • Items that are primarily constructed of elastic or other stretchable materials (e.g. support items made of material such as neoprene or spandex (elastane, Lycra®) (not all-inclusive)) must be coded as A4467 (BELT, STRAP, SLEEVE, GARMENT, OR COVERING, ANY TYPE).
  • Items that are primarily constructed of elastic or other stretchable materials (e.g. support items made of material such as neoprene or spandex (elastane, Lycra®]) (not all-inclusive)) that contain stays and/or panels must be coded as A4467 (BELT, STRAP, SLEEVE, GARMENT, OR COVERING, ANY TYPE).
  • Items that are primarily constructed of inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) that are incapable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed must be coded using A4467 (BELT, STRAP, SLEEVE, GARMENT, OR COVERING, ANY TYPE).
  • Items that are primarily constructed of inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) that are incapable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed and that have stays and/or panels capable of providing the required immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed, must be coded using A4467 (BELT, STRAP, SLEEVE, GARMENT, OR COVERING, ANY TYPE).
  • Items that are primarily constructed of inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed must be coded using the applicable specific HCPCS code for the type of product. A NOC (Not Otherwise Classified) or miscellaneous HCPCS code must not be used instead of the specific code. Refer to the long code narrative and any relevant coding guideline for the criteria applicable for each HCPCS code.
  • Items that are primarily constructed of inelastic material (e.g., canvas, cotton or nylon (not all-inclusive)) capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed and that have stays and/or panels capable of providing the required immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed, must be coded using the applicable specific HCPCS code for the type of product. A NOC (Not Otherwise Classified) or miscellaneous HCPCS code must not be used instead of the specific code. Refer to the long code narrative and relevant coding guideline for the criteria applicable for each HCPCS code.
  • Items that are not capable of providing the necessary immobilization or support to the body part for which it is designed (regardless of materials) must be coded using A9270 (NONCOVERED ITEM OR SERVICE).

Effective for dates of service on or after January 1, 2017, A4466 is deleted and replaced by A4467. Additional coding scenarios are added as a result of the new HCPCS code narrative for A4467

This information will be incorporated into a future revision of the Ankle-Foot/Knee-Ankle-Foot Orthoses (AFO/KAFO)External Website, Knee Orthoses (KO)External Website, and Spinal Orthoses (LSO/TLSO)External Website LCDs and related Policy Articles.

For questions about correct coding, contact the Pricing, Data Analysis and Coding (PDAC) contractor Contact Center at (877) 735-1326 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday, or e-mail the PDAC by completing the DME PDAC Contact FormExternal Website.

Revised 07/28/16
Original Publication Date: 01/28/09

Revision Effective Date: 03/09/2017
Note: Deleted HCPCS Code A4466
Added A4467
Revised narrative consistent with code changes and added coding scenarios.

Publication Date: July 28, 2016
Revised DAC Article "Elastic Garments – Noncovered" to provide a more comprehensive discussion of statutory benefit category requirements and HCPCS coding guidelines applicable to these items.

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