Coverage of Speech Generating Devices

November 15, 2014
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Rick Gawenda
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On February 27, 2014, the Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractors (DME MACs) posted a Coverage Reminder outlining the coding requirements for consideration as a “dedicated” speech generating device under the National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Speech Generating Devices (IOM 100-02 §50.1).  The coverage reminder also referenced a requirement for a written coding verification for speech generating devices that would be effective for dates of service on or after December 1, 2014. CMS has issued instructions to contractors to rescind the coverage reminder and coding verification for speech generating devices. We expect beneficiaries to continue to have access to this critical technology.
Since the current NCD took effect on January 1, 2001, the technology for devices that generate speech and the ways in which the devices are used by patients to meet their medical needs has changed significantly.  As a result, CMS intends to internally generate a reconsideration of the benefit category NCD addressing Medicare coverage of augmentative and alternative communication devices (IOM 100-02 §50.1). Additional information about this matter will be made available in the near future.


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