New K Codes for Adjustable Cushions Go into Effect

A new coding system for adjustable wheelchair cushions went into effect on July 1, 2006, replacing the previous K0108 code that rehab technology suppliers had been using since fall of 2004.

The four new K codes for adjustable wheelchair cushions are as follows:

K0734: Skin-protection wheelchair seat cushion, adjustable, width less than 22 inches, any depth.

K0735: Skin-protection wheelchair seat cushion, adjustable, width of 22 inches or greater, any depth.

K0736: Skin-protection and positioning wheelchair seat cushion, adjustable, width less than 22 inches, any depth.

K0737: Skin-protection and positioning wheelchair seat cushion, adjustable, width of 22 inches or greater, any depth.

The new codes are the culmination of a project ongoing since mid-2004, when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new wheelchair codes were going into effect. Not long thereafter, CMS, the DMERCs and SADMERC said the new codes were not adequately describing all adjustable seat cushions. While the rehab industry was at Medtrade in October 2004, CMS announced it was removing adjustable seat cushions from the new skin-protection seat cushion codes (K0652 and K0653) and the new combination skin-protection and positioning seat cushion codes (K0656 and K0657), and temporarily placing those products under the K0108 code for "wheelchair components or accessory, not otherwise specified." The cushions were to remain under the K0108 code until new codes, descriptions and testing standards were developed.

CMS defined the affected products as "those which have all of the characteristics of a skin-protection seat cushion or skin-protection and positioning seat cushion as described in the Coding Guidelines section of the Policy Article and are adjustable by addition or removal of significant quantities of air, liquid, gel or other fluid medium in physiologically appropriate areas of the cushion to promote pressure reduction."

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