Outpatient PT, OT, ST, and Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Prior Authorization is required for all outpatient therapy services including PT, OT, and SLP.
iCare authorizes outpatient therapy by number of visits; however, the CPT codes that the provider anticipates billing MUST be listed on the prior authorization request form in order tocomplete the clinical review and determine medical necessity.
Comprehensive information about the member helps to establish the functional potential of the member and forms the basis for determining whether the member will benefit from the requested services. Please submit the Prior Authorization Request form along with the completed therapy evaluation, plan of care, and signed physicians prescription for review to determine if the service is medically necessary.
Outpatient therapy will be authorized based on medical necessity. Services that are medically necessary are defined under Wis. Admin. Code § DHS 101.03(96m). The provider is responsible to assure that the services provided are covered under the Medicare or Medicaid benefit, whichever applies.
An approved PA request will be backdated to the initial date of the evaluation if the PA request is received within 14 calendar days of the initial therapy evaluation. iCare will not retro authorize any authorization requests submitted beyond the 14 calendar days of the initial evaluation.
Continuing therapy requests may be requested when the member's need for therapy services is expected to exceed the maximum allowable treatment days authorized.
For continuing therapy requests, prior authorization must be obtained. PA requests for ongoing therapy will not be backdated. To request additional visits, please submit the completed Prior Authorization Request form, as well as clinical documentation to support medical necessity for ongoing therapy services.
PA requests are approved for varying periods of time based on the clinical justification submitted. The provider receives a copy of a PA decision notice when a PA request for a service is approved. Providers may then begin providing the approved service on the start date given.
An approved request mean that the requested service, not necessarily by code, was approved. Providers are encouraged to review approved PA requests to confirm the services authorized and confirm the assigned start and end dates.
All claims for services are subject to the coverage and medical necessity guidelines provided by Medicare and Medicaid.
Medicare Guidelines for Outpatient Physical and Occupational Therapy Services can be found here.
Personal Care Worker
Members who receive at least 2 hours per day of care will receive shorter authorizations per iCare discretion. Providers should use the new PA form designated for PCW services:
PA-Personal Care Worker fillable form
PC Screening Tool
All initial and annual recertification requests must also include a copy of the signed MD/DO/NP order (CMS-485); recent history/physical or office notes, Personal Care Screening Tool (PCST), and Google Maps or Mapquest if travel time is being requested. Personal Care agencies are required to meet all Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) requirements as outlined in the ForwardHealth Policy. iCare does not require EVV for live-in caregivers, however the provider must supply a completed EVV Live-In Worker Identification form, F-02717, at the time of authorization for all live-in workers. Failure to submit required documentation will result in a denial of authorization for a live-in worker.
Third party assessment information:
iCare reserves the right to conduct third party assessments for every new and ongoing request. It is the responsibility of each provider to educate the member on this process since iCare can deny services if the third party assessment is not completed. Allocation of hours will be based on the third party assessment; the provider’s assessment and review of all pertinent clinical documentation.
Recertification requests are required to be submitted within 30 days after the expiration date of the previous authorization. Providers may choose to submit authorizations more frequently than once a year due to their own internal policies. However, new PCSTs should only be submitted once a year unless there has been a significant and chronic change of condition that warrants additional time. If the ongoing PA request does not align with iCare’s previous decision, and there has been no change in member’s condition, then the authorization request will be changed to reflect what member has been approved for.
Acute change of condition:
If the member has had an acute change of condition (i.e. recovery from surgery), an additional authorization will be granted for 90 days to supplement the extra hours, and then hours will revert back to iCare’s previous decision. All requests for increased services must include a signed physicians order and clinical documentation to support the increase. Because iCare will only conduct third party assessments for an acute change of condition on a case by case basis, it is the obligation of the provider and physician to determine the additional hours that are needed.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Prior Authorization: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
Date in service: 12/31/2015
Date reviewed: 01/12/2018
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS device) requires the following documentation in order for Independent Care Health Plan (iCare) to evaluate medical necessity:
A physician’s medical order for a TENS device
The physician ordering the TENS device and related supplies must be the treating physician for the disease or condition justifying the need for the TENS device
For coverage of a purchase, the physician must determine that the beneficiary is likely to derive significant therapeutic benefit from continuous use of the device over a long period of time. Supportive criteria for this must be included in provided documentation
Medical records documenting a face-to-face visit with the physician ordering the TENS device that includes the medical, behavioral, and social interventions used in treating the member for their disease or condition
Medication lists, support services recommended/in place, psychiatry notes documenting treatment plans, etc.
The documented history and physical examination and assessment must support the diagnosis and the treatment plan.
The documentation should also include the causes and clinical effects of pain including an assessment of the ability of the individual to perform activities of daily living.
The impact of previously attempted interventions for chronic pain should be documented.
Additional clinical documentation of multidisciplinary approaches used in treating the member for their disease or condition
Occupational therapy, physical therapy, pain management procedures and/or pain contracts, complementary and alternative medicine modalities used/recommended, etc
Psychosocial evaluation, including information about the presence of symptoms of depression, anxiety, or anger; psychiatric disorders, personality traits or states; and coping mechanisms
MEDICAL NECESSITY REQUIREMENTS
A TENS device it covered for the treatment of beneficiaries meeting the following requirements:
Acute post-operative pain
TENS is covered for acute post-operative pain. Coverage is limited to 30 days (one month rental) from the date of surgery
Members not meeting ALL of the aforementioned criteria will be denied a TENS device based on lack of medical necessity
Chronic pain (other than low back pain)
TENS devices are covered for chronic, intractable pain other than chronic low back pain when ALL of the following criteria are met:
The pain must be documented to have been present for at least 3 continuous months, AND
The individual must be actively participating in multimodal treatments for chronic pain, including, but not limited to: physical therapy or occupational therapy; regularly scheduled physical activity (e.g., swimming, yoga); massage therapy; acupuncture or other CAM modalities; psychological, psychiatric, and/or pharmaceutical treatments for chronic pain, AND
Other appropriate pain treatments must have been tried and failed, AND
The chronic condition documented must be of a type that is documented in the peer-reviewed medical literature to respond to TENS therapy
Chronic low back pain (CLBP)
TENS therapy for CLBP is only covered when ALL of the following criteria are met:
The beneficiary has one of the following diagnoses listed in the diagnosis section below, AND
The beneficiary is enrolled in an approved clinical study that meets all of the requirements set out in NCD §160.27 (CMS Internet Only Manual 100-3, Chapter 1).2 Refer to the APPENDICES section for additional information about approved clinical studies, AND
The beneficiary has one of the following diagnoses:
LUMBOSACRAL ROOT LESIONS NOT OTHERWISE CLASSIFIED
SACROILIITIS NOT OTHERWISE CLASSIFIED
LUMBOSACRAL SPONDYLOSIS WITHOUT MYELOPATHY
SPONDYLOSIS WITH MYELOPATHY LUMBAR REGION
DISPLACEMENT OF LUMBAR INTERVERTEBRAL DISC WITHOUT MYELOPATHY
DEGENERATION OF LUMBAR OR LUMBOSACRAL INTERVERTEBRAL DISC
INTERVERTEBRAL DISC DISORDER WITH MYELOPATHY LUMBAR REGION
POSTLAMINECTOMY SYNDROME OF LUMBAR REGION
OTHER AND UNSPECIFIED DISC DISORDER OF LUMBAR REGION
SPINAL STENOSIS, LUMBAR REGION, WITHOUT NEUROGENIC CLAUDICATION
SPINAL STENOSIS, LUMBAR REGION, WITH NEUROGENIC CLAUDICATION
THORACIC OR LUMBOSACRAL NEURITIS OR RADICULITIS UNSPECIFIED
NONALLOPATHIC LESIONS OF LUMBAR REGION NOT ELSEWHERE CLASSIFIED
CONGENITAL SPONDYLOLYSIS LUMBOSACRAL REGION
CLOSED FRACTURE OF LUMBAR VERTEBRA WITHOUT SPINAL CORD INJURY
CLOSED FRACTURE OF LUMBAR SPINE WITH SPINAL CORD INJURY
LUMBOSACRAL (JOINT) (LIGAMENT) SPRAIN
SACROILIAC (LIGAMENT) SPRAIN
INJURY TO LUMBAR NERVE ROOT
Members not meeting ALL of the aforementioned criteria will be denied a TENS device based on lack of medical necessity.
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND CLBP
A 4-lead TENS device may be used with either 2 leads or 4 leads, depending on the characteristics of the beneficiary's pain. If it is ordered for use with 4 leads, the medical record must document why 2 leads are insufficient to meet the beneficiary’s needs.
SUPPLY COVERAGE REQUIREMENTS
Separate allowance will be made for replacement supplies when they are reasonable and necessary and are used with a covered TENS. Usual maximum utilization is:
2 TENS leads - a maximum of one unit of A4595 per month
4 TENS leads - a maximum of two units of A4595 per month
If the use of the TENS device is less than daily, the frequency of billing for the TENS supply code should be reduced proportionally.
Replacement of lead wires (A4557) more often than every 12 months would rarely be reasonable and necessary.
A conductive garment (E0731) used with a TENS device is rarely reasonable and necessary, but is covered only if ALL of the following conditions are met:
a. It has been prescribed by the treating physician for use in delivering covered TENS treatment, AND
a. ONE of the medical indications outlined below is met:
The beneficiary cannot manage without the conductive garment because:
There is such a large area or so many sites to be stimulated AND the stimulation would have to be delivered so frequently that it is not feasible to use conventional electrodes, adhesive tapes, and lead wires, OR
The beneficiary cannot manage without the conductive garment for the treatment of chronic intractable pain because the areas or sites to be stimulated are inaccessible with the use of conventional electrodes, adhesive tapes, and lead wires, OR
The beneficiary has a documented medical condition, such as skin problems, that preclude the application of conventional electrodes, adhesive tapes, and lead wires, OR
The beneficiary requires electrical stimulation beneath a cast to treat chronic intractable pain.
A conductive garment is not covered for use with a TENS device during the trial period unless:
The beneficiary has a documented skin problem prior to the start of the trial period; AND the TENS is reasonable and necessary for the beneficiary.
If the criteria above are not met for E0731, it will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.
Reimbursement for supplies is contingent upon use with a covered TENS device. Claims for TENS supplies provided when there is no covered TENS device will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.
For Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) items and supplies provided on a recurring basis, billing must be based on prospective, not retrospective use. For DMEPOS products that are supplied as refills to the original order, suppliers must contact the beneficiary prior to dispensing the refill and not automatically ship on a pre-determined basis, even if authorized by the beneficiary. This shall be done to ensure that the refilled item remains reasonable and necessary, existing supplies are approaching exhaustion, and to confirm any changes or modifications to the order.
For all DMEPOS items that are provided on a recurring basis, suppliers are required to have contact with the beneficiary or caregiver/designee prior to dispensing a new supply of items. Suppliers must not deliver refills without a refill request from a beneficiary. Items delivered without a valid, documented refill request will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.
Suppliers must not dispense a quantity of supplies exceeding a beneficiary's expected utilization. Suppliers must stay attuned to changed or atypical utilization patterns on the part of their clients. Suppliers must verify with the ordering physicians that any changed or atypical utilization is warranted. Regardless of utilization, a supplier must not dispense more than a 3-month quantity at a time.
- E0720 Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device, two lead, localized stimulation
- E0730 Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) device, four or more leads, multiple nerve stimulation
- E0731 Form fitting conductive garment for the delivery of TENS (with conductive fibers separated from the patient’s skin by layers of fabric)
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) 6407 REQUIREMENTS
ACA 6407 contains provisions that are applicable to certain specified items:
- E0720 TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL NERVE STIMULATION (TENS) DEVICE, TWO LEAD, LOCALIZED STIMULATION
- E0730 TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL NERVE STIMULATION (TENS) DEVICE, FOUR OR MORE LEADS, FOR MULTIPLE NERVE STIMULATION
- E0731 FORM FITTING CONDUCTIVE GARMENT FOR DELIVERY OF TENS OR NMES (WITH CONDUCTIVE FIBERS SEPARATED FROM THE PATIENT'S SKIN BY LAYERS OF FABRIC)
These items require an in-person or face-to-face interaction between the beneficiary and their treating physician prior to prescribing the item, specifically to document that the beneficiary was evaluated and/or treated for a condition that supports the need for the item(s) of DME ordered. A dispensing order is not sufficient to provide these items. A Written Order Prior to Delivery (WOPD) is required.
- Practice guidelines for chronic pain management. An updated report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Chronic Pain Management and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. 1997 Apr (revised 2010 Apr). NGC:007951 http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=23845&search=chronic+pain
- CMS National Coverage Determinations: (NCD): Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation for Acute Post-Operative Pain, for Chronic Low Back Pain, and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulators (10.2, 160.27, 280.13, respectively) (All Active policies).