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Medicare Seat Lift Mechanisms LCD Coverage (Lift Chairs Only)

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 coverage indications, limitations and/or medical necessity.

For these items to be covered by Medicare, a written order prior to delivery (WOPD) is required. Refer to the DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS section of this LCD and to the NON-MEDICAL NECESSITY COVERAGE AND PAYMENT RULES section of the related Policy Article for information about WOPD prescription requirements.

A seat lift mechanism is covered if ALL of the following criteria are met:

  1. The beneficiary must have severe arthritis of the hip or knee or have a severe neuromuscular disease.
  2. The seat lift mechanism must be a part of the physician’s course of treatment and be prescribed to effect improvement, or arrest or retard deterioration in the beneficiary’s condition.
  3. The beneficiary must be completely incapable of standing up from a regular armchair or any chair in their home. (The fact that a beneficiary has difficulty or is even incapable of getting up from a chair, particularly a low chair, is not sufficient justification for a seat lift mechanism. Almost all beneficiaries who are capable of ambulating can get out of an ordinary chair if the seat height is appropriate and the chair has arms.)
  4. Once standing, the beneficiary must have the ability to ambulate.
    Coverage of seat lift mechanisms is limited to those types which operate smoothly, can be controlled by the beneficiary, and effectively assist a beneficiary in standing up and sitting down without other assistance. Excluded from coverage is the type of lift which operates by spring release mechanism with a sudden, catapult-like motion and jolts the beneficiary from a seated to a standing position.

The physician ordering the seat lift mechanism must be the treating physician or a consulting physician for the disease or condition resulting in the need for a seat lift.

The physician’s record must document that all appropriate therapeutic modalities (e.g., medication, physical therapy) have been tried and failed to enable the beneficiary to transfer from a chair to a standing position.