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CMS Now Covers Supervised Exercise Therapy (SET) for Symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

Feb 08, 2018

Effective May 25, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a National Coverage Determination (NCD) to cover Supervised Exercise Therapy (SET) for beneficiaries with Intermittent Claudication (IC) for the treatment of symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). 

They want to remind clinicians of this option because despite years of high-quality research illustrating the effectiveness of SET, more invasive treatment options (such as, endovascular revascularization) have continued to increase. SET involves the use of intermittent walking exercise, which alternates periods of walking to moderate-to-maximum claudication, with rest. SET has been recommended as the initial treatment for patients suffering from IC, the most common symptom experienced by people with PAD.

CMS will cover SET for beneficiaries with IC for the treatment of symptomatic PAD. Up to 36 sessions over a 12-week period are covered if all of the following components of a SET program are met: The SET program must: 

  • Consist of sessions lasting 30-60 minutes, comprising a therapeutic exercise-training program for PAD in patients with claudication
  • Be conducted in a hospital outpatient setting, or a physician’s office
  • Be delivered by qualified auxiliary personnel necessary to ensure benefits exceed harms, and who are trained in exercise therapy for PAD
  • Be under the direct supervision of a physician (as defined in Section 1861(r)(1)) of the Social Security Act (the Act), physician assistant, or nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist (as identified in Section 1861(aa)(5) of the Act)) who must be trained in both basic and advanced life support techniques.

Beneficiaries must have a face-to-face visit with the physician responsible for PAD treatment to obtain the referral for SET. At this visit, the beneficiary must receive information regarding cardiovascular disease and PAD risk factor reduction, which could include education, counseling, behavioral interventions, and outcome assessments.

MACs have the discretion to cover SET beyond 36 sessions over 12 weeks and may cover an additional 36 sessions over an extended period of time. MACs shall accept the inclusion of the KX modifier on the claim line(s) as an attestation by the provider of the services that documentation is on file verifying that further treatment beyond the 36 sessions of SET over a 12-week period meets the requirements of the medical policy.

SET is non-covered for beneficiaries with absolute contraindications to exercise as determined by their primary attending physician.

Coding Requirements for SET

Providers should use Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) 93668 (Under Peripheral Arterial Disease Rehabilitation) to bill for these services with appropriate International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) Code as follows:

  • I70.211 – right leg
  • I70.212 – left leg
  • I70.213 – bilateral legs
  • I70.218 – other extremity
  • I70.311 – right leg
  • I70.312 – left leg
  • I70.313 – bilateral legs
  • I70.318 – other extremity
  • I70.611 – right leg
  • I70.612 – left leg
  • I70.613 – bilateral legs
  • I70.618 – other extremity
  • I70.711 – right leg
  • I70.712 – left leg
  • I70.713 – bilateral legs
  • I70.718 – other extremity

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