Clinical Guideline - Canes and Crutches PDF Print E-mail

Indications and Limitations of Coverage and/or Medical Necessity:

For any item to be covered by Medicare, it must 1) be eligible for a defined Medicare benefit category, 2) be reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member, and 3) meet all other applicable Medicare statutory and regulatory requirements. For the items addressed in this local coverage determination, the criteria for "reasonable and necessary", based on Social Security Act §1862(a)(1)(A) provisions, are defined by the following indications and limitations of coverage and/or medical necessity.

For an item to be covered by Medicare, a written signed and dated order must be received by the supplier before a claim is submitted. If the supplier bills for an item addressed in this policy without first receiving the completed order, the item will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.

Canes (E0100, E0105) and crutches (E0110 - E0116) are covered if all of the following criteria (1-3) are met:

1) The patient has a mobility limitation that significantly impairs his/her ability to participate in one or more mobility-related activities of daily living (MRADL) in the home.

The MRADLs to be considered in this and all other statements in this policy are toileting, feeding, dressing, grooming, and bathing performed in customary locations in the home.

-A mobility limitation is one that:

a) Prevents the patient from accomplishing the MRADL entirely, or

b) Places the patient at reasonably determined heightened risk of morbidity or mortality secondary to the attempts to perform an MRADL; or

c) Prevents the patient from completing the mobility-related activities of daily living within a reasonable time frame.


2) The patient is able to safely use the cane or crutch; and

3) The functional mobility deficit can be sufficiently resolved by use of a cane or crutch.

If all of the criteria are not met, the cane or crutch will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.

The medical necessity for an underarm, articulating, spring assisted crutch (E0117) has not been established; therefore, if an E0117 is ordered, it will be denied as not reasonable and necessary.


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