Coverage of Voice Amplifiers Under Medicare and Commercial Insurance

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has determined that voice amplifiers used for beneficiaries with impaired function of their larynx (which is still present) are eligible for coverage by Medicare. This decision is retroactive and therefore applies to any dates of service on which these items were/are provided.

When billing for these items use HCPCS code L8510 (voice amplifiers) and include the name: (Voice Aerobics) model number (KM-670) and manufacturer of the device (Shenzhen JHC Electronics Co., LTD) as well as documentation explaining the medical necessity for the item. The L prefix for this code designates it as a prosthetic device. Documentation of necessity may include medical diagnosis such as: vocal nodules; vocal fold paralysis or vocal fold paresis, or hypokinetic dysarthria. A speech/rehab diagnosis may include: voice impairment R49.0, this may include hypophonia (voice which is too soft or hoarseness), or hypokinetic dysarthria R47.1.

Note: Voice Aerobics, LLC does not direct bill Medicare or any other insurance for your purchase of a voice amplifier. We will provide you with an invoice by email and enclose a packing slip with your order, which you may submit to CMS or any other commercial insurance carrier.

SLPs and physicians also take careful note of the last paragraph of the Medicare guidance quoted above. It warns SLPs and physicians to use the proper vocabulary when requesting a voice amplifier. To Medicare, a voice amplifier is not an artificial larynx, which Medicare calls an electronic speech aid. A voice amplifier is described as equipment for a person with an intact larynx with impaired function.

Medicare’s coverage of voice amplifiers is valuable not only for Medicare recipients, but also for individuals with insurance or health plans, when their policies or plans cover prosthetic devices or durable medical equipment. (In most circumstances, items that meet a definition of prosthetic devices also will satisfy criteria as items of DME.)

Source AAC-RERC: The AAC-RERC conducts a comprehensive program of research, development, training, and dissemination activities that address the NIDRR priorities and seek to improve technologies for individuals who rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies. The mission of the AAC-RERC is to assist people who rely on augmentative and alternative communication to achieve their goals by advancing and promoting AAC technologies and supporting the individuals who use, manufacture, and recommend them.

** It is recommended that you contact your individual health insurance service provider for specific information regarding your policy coverage guidelines.

Medicare or Insurance Carrier Reimbursement Form

Click on the link above to download a blank reimbursement form that you can send to Medicare (or your insurance carrier) for reimbursement on your Voice Amplifier purchase.

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