Top Non-Affirmation Reasons for Lower Limb Prosthetics

The Jurisdiction A, DME MAC, Medical Review Department Prior Authorization (PA) review findings for Lower Limb Prosthetics are provided below.

Top Reasons for Non-Affirmation: July-September 2021

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The medical record documentation does not demonstrate the beneficiary's current functional capabilities or expected functional potential.

A lower limb prosthesis is covered when the beneficiary:

  1. Will reach or maintain a defined functional state within a reasonable period of time; and
  2. Is motivated to ambulate.

FUNCTIONAL LEVELS:

A determination of the medical necessity for certain components/additions to the prosthesis is based on the beneficiary’s potential functional abilities. Potential functional ability is based on the reasonable expectations of the prosthetist, and treating practitioner, considering factors including, but not limited to:

  1. The beneficiary’s past history (including prior prosthetic use if applicable); and
  2. The beneficiary’s current condition including the status of the residual limb and the nature of other medical problems; and
  3. The beneficiary’s desire to ambulate.

Clinical assessments of beneficiary rehabilitation potential must be based on the following classification levels:

Level 0: Does not have the ability or potential to ambulate or transfer safely with or without assistance and a prosthesis does not enhance their quality of life or mobility.

Level 1: Has the ability or potential to use a prosthesis for transfers or ambulation on level surfaces at fixed cadence. Typical of the limited and unlimited household ambulator.

Level 2: Has the ability or potential for ambulation with the ability to traverse low level environmental barriers such as curbs, stairs or uneven surfaces. Typical of the limited community ambulator.

Level 3: Has the ability or potential for ambulation with variable cadence. Typical of the community ambulator who has the ability to traverse most environmental barriers and may have vocational, therapeutic, or exercise activity that demands prosthetic utilization beyond simple locomotion.

Level 4: Has the ability or potential for prosthetic ambulation that exceeds basic ambulation skills, exhibiting high impact, stress, or energy levels. Typical of the prosthetic demands of the child, active adult, or athlete.

The records must document the beneficiary’s current functional capabilities and his/her expected functional potential, including an explanation for the difference, if that is the case. It is recognized, within the functional classification hierarchy, that bilateral amputees often cannot be strictly bound by functional level classifications.

The prosthetist documentation does not support the current or expected potential functional abilities of the beneficiary.

FUNCTIONAL LEVELS:

A determination of the medical necessity for certain components/additions to the prosthesis is based on the beneficiary’s potential functional abilities. Potential functional ability is based on the reasonable expectations of the prosthetist, and treating practitioner, considering factors including, but not limited to:

  1. The beneficiary’s past history (including prior prosthetic use if applicable); and
  2. The beneficiary’s current condition including the status of the residual limb and the nature of other medical problems; and
  3. The beneficiary’s desire to ambulate.

Clinical assessments of beneficiary rehabilitation potential must be based on the following classification levels:

Level 0: Does not have the ability or potential to ambulate or transfer safely with or without assistance and a prosthesis does not enhance their quality of life or mobility.

Level 1: Has the ability or potential to use a prosthesis for transfers or ambulation on level surfaces at fixed cadence. Typical of the limited and unlimited household ambulator.

Level 2: Has the ability or potential for ambulation with the ability to traverse low level environmental barriers such as curbs, stairs or uneven surfaces. Typical of the limited community ambulator.

Level 3: Has the ability or potential for ambulation with variable cadence. Typical of the community ambulator who has the ability to traverse most environmental barriers and may have vocational, therapeutic, or exercise activity that demands prosthetic utilization beyond simple locomotion.

Level 4: Has the ability or potential for prosthetic ambulation that exceeds basic ambulation skills, exhibiting high impact, stress, or energy levels. Typical of the prosthetic demands of the child, active adult, or athlete.

When submitting a prosthetic claim, the billed code for knee, foot, ankle and hip (HCPCS codes L5610, L5611, L5613, L5614, L5616, L5710, L5711, L5712, L5714, L5716, L5718, L5722, L5724, L5726, L5728, L5780, L5810, L5811, L5812, L5814, L5816, L5818, L5822, L5824, L5826, L5828, L5830, L5840, L5848, L5856, L5857, L5858, L5859, L5930, L5961, L5970, L5971, L5972, L5973, L5974, L5975, L5976, L5978, L5979, L5980, L5981, L5982, L5984, L5985, L5986, L5987) components must be submitted with modifiers K0 - K4, indicating the expected beneficiary functional level. This expectation of functional ability information must be clearly documented and retained in the prosthetist's records. The simple entry of a K modifier in those records is not sufficient. There must be information about the beneficiary’s history and current condition which supports the designation of the functional level by the prosthetist.

The medical record documentation is not authenticated (handwritten or electronic) by the author.

For medical review purposes, Medicare requires that services provided/ordered/certified be authenticated by the persons responsible for the care of the beneficiary in accordance with Medicare’s policies. For example, if the physician’s authenticated documentation corroborates the nurse’s unsigned note, and the physician was the responsible party per Medicare’s payment policy, medical reviewers would consider signature requirements to have been met. The method used shall be a handwritten or electronic signature. Stamped signatures are not acceptable.

 

Last Updated Mon, 18 Oct 2021 20:53:49 +0000