ReWalk Robotics, Ltd, a manufacturer of robotic medical devices for individuals with lower limb disabilities, recently announced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level II Code K1007 in response to the company's application. This decision, which will be effective on October 1, 2020, establishes the first such code for exoskeletons.
"Establishment of this code is a breakthrough towards making an innovative and needed medical device more broadly available to the spinal cord injury community," says Dr. Ann Vasile, who is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation in addition to a specialty board certification in spinal cord injury medicine. "With greater than 25 years of clinical and leadership experience in the field of spinal cord injury, it has been gratifying to witness firsthand the positive impact ReWalk devices can have on a spinal cord injured person's physical and mental wellbeing for those who have been able to acquire one. I feel strongly that persons with a spinal cord injury should have access to one if medically appropriate. I thank ReWalk and CMS for their efforts to finalize this coding."
HCPCS Level II codes are used to identify medical products and supplies and to facilitate insurance claim submissions and processing for these items. This code was announced in CMS's First Biannual 2020 Durable Medical Equipment (DME) and Accessories; Orthotics, Prosthetics (O & P), and Supplies HCPCS code application review cycle update.
"We are committed to developing powered solutions for persons with lower limb disability as well as pursuing policies which make them available to those who may benefit from them," says Andy Dolan, vice president of marketing and reimbursement at ReWalk Robotics. "We are also proud to be pioneers in this industry. This successful coding application follows previous key company achievements such as earning the first FDA clearance for an exoskeleton, the first—and to date most—positive coverage decisions by US private insurers for their beneficiaries, collaboration with the Department of Defense to establish a policy for injured US veterans to have access to exoskeletons, and finalization of coverage policies and contracts with leading German insurers."
The company intends to work with payers such as Medicare, state Medicaid, and private insurers to establish an appropriate payment rate and pursue coverage policies for personal ownership of ReWalk devices. If and when these coverage policies are established, those who meet the inclusion criteria as established by the FDA and complete the training program will have a pathway to seek a ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton for use at home. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are an estimated 294,000 persons in the United States living with a spinal cord injury, roughly one-half of which are classified as paraplegic.
Source: ReWalk Robotics Ltd