Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) L8679 - Widespread Service Specific Targeted Review Final Findings

In order to fulfill its contractual obligation with CMS, Noridian Healthcare Solutions (Noridian), your Medicare Contractor, performs pre-payment reviews in accordance with CMS direction. CMS is required by the Social Security Act to ensure that payment is made only for those medical services that are reasonable and necessary. Medical review assesses submitted documentation to validate provider compliance with Medicare payment rules and regulations, including coverage, coding and billing guidelines.

This is to update providers of the claim review findings and closure of the case for HCPCS L8679: implantable neurostimulator, pulse generator, any type.

The results of this focused review are not a reflection on providers’ competence as a health care professional or the quality of care provided to patients. Specifically, the results are based on the documentation requested by Medicare and/or your facility’s compliance with the required documentation.

Summary of Findings

Since the last website posting, the current findings continue to reveal an error rate of 100%. The breakdown of those findings are as follows:

  • The documentation supported the beneficiary had an electro-acupuncture device adhered behind the ear which is an auricular stimulatory device. The auricular device is not an implantable neurostimulator.
    • The surgical procedure code was also denied.

The overall error rate since the initiation of this service specific targeted review is 100%. The error rate is calculated by dividing the dollar amount of charges billed in error (minus any confirmed under-billed charges) by the total amount of charges for services medically reviewed. If you disagree with a claim determination, the normal appeal process may be followed as directed on the Noridian website under Appeals or as directed in your claim remittance advice, although this will not affect the error rate of the pre-payment review.


National Coverage Determination 160.7 "Electrical Nerve Stimulators" discusses the coverage requirements for these services. This can be located within the Internet-Only Manuals (IOM), Medicare National Coverage Determinations (NCD) Manual, Publication 100-03, Chapter 1, Part 2, Section160.7.

Implantable neurostimulator devices require surgical implantation into the central nervous system or targeted peripheral nerve. This procedure is usually performed in an operating room. Electro-acupuncture devices are applied behind the ear using an adhesive and/or with needles inserted into the patient’s ear. Electro-acupuncture devices should not be coded as implantable neurostimulator devices. Electro-acupuncture devices and implantable neurostimulators are two separate devices, and coding electro-acupuncture devices as implantable neurostimulators is incorrect.


For additional educational resources, please visit our Education and Outreach department.

Provider Action Required

Providers should review individual claim determinations.

To review individual claim comments via the Noridian Medicare Portal, complete the following steps:

  1. Log into Noridian Medicare Portal at
  2. Choose Claim Status from the menu bar.
  3. On the Claim Status Inquiry page:
    1. Fill in all Provider/Supplier Details.
    2. Select MEDB under Program drop down box
    3. Fill in all Beneficiary Details
    4. Fill in Claim Details.
  4. Click the Submit Inquiry button at the bottom of the form.
  5. On the Claim Status Results page
    1. Choose View Claim.
    2. On the right side of the page will the heading: Related Inquiries
    3. Choose Noridian Comments.
  6. Scroll down the page and under the Claim Status Line Details the comment will display.

Note: If documentation was sent late (>45 days from the date of the ADR), the claim may have been reopened by the examiner. These reviews are not currently available on the portal. 

Initial documentation must be sent by fax, mail or esMD. Additional documentation requested can be submitted fax, mail or Noridian Medicare Portal

Further provider action recommended includes:

  • Provide education regarding errors noted to applicable staff members.
  • Verify documentation supports medical necessity of L8679.
  • Ensure ADR submissions are timely, complete, and include all documentation to support medical necessity and a valid physician order.
  • If records supporting the services on the claim are located at another facility, as the billing provider, your facility is responsible for obtaining those records for review.


Based on the improved error rate for this targeted review this case is now closed and Noridian will no longer request documentation for this review. Noridian will continue to monitor the utilization patterns of providers and perform medical review for medical necessity and appropriate coding practices. If, in the future, claims data indicates variances or high utilization, providers may be subject to a pre-payment or post-payment review.

If you would like to receive information regarding findings specific to your facility prior to the completion of the review, send an email to In order to facilitate the response, follow these instructions:

  • Complete the Subject line with the following information: Results request for HCPCS L8679 widespread review
  • In the body of the email, include the following elements:
    • Your name, title, and telephone number
    • The facility name
    • NPI Number
    • Short description of information you would like to receive
  • Indicate if you would like to receive results via phone call, fax or US Mail and include a fax number or mailing address as applicable.

Upon request receipt, Noridian Medical Review will respond as timely as possible.. Requests may take up to two weeks to be completed.

If you have any questions, contact the Provider Contact Center


Last Updated Fri, 14 May 2021 14:03:14 +0000