Q/A: Can I Order a TENS unit for a Medicare Patient?

December 3rd, 2019 - Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
Categories:   Chiropractic   DME|Supplies|Equipment  
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Question

Can a chiropractor order a TENS unit for a Medicare patient? We cannot order X-rays for a Medicare patient so I assume we cannot order a TENS unit either.

Answer

It’s not that you can’t order the TENS unit, it’s just that when it comes to doctors of chiropractic, Medicare only covers the CMT services and that's all. It appears that you may have performed an E/M procedural service to determine the need for TENS. Help your patient understand Medicare coverage rules. Let them know that they will be financially responsible for any services/supplies beyond the CMT. If they agree and complete the necessary form (Medicare Notice of Non-Coverage form which is available on the DeskBook resources page), then you may order the supply for them, but the patient is financially responsible for the purchase.

You could become a supplier for TENS units and other durable medical equipment (DME), but you would need to complete CMS' DME application. DME suppliers have a separate claim form that goes to a different Medicare contractor.

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