Tracheostomy Supplies

Number: 0074

Policy

Supplies for care of a tracheostomy site are considered medically necessary for a member following an open surgical tracheostomy which has been open or is expected to remain open for at least three months. 

A tracheostomy care or cleaning starter kit considered medically necessary following an open surgical tracheostomy. Beginning two weeks post-operatively, a tracheostomy care or cleaning starter kit is no longer considered medically necessary. 

The quantities of supplies included in a tracheostomy care kit are to provide all necessary quantities for the care of the tracheostomy site; additional quantities of tracheostomy supplies are considered not medically necessary. Additional supplies may be considered medically necessary only for care other than for a tracheostomy site, such as for speaking valves.

A tracheostomy shower protector is a convenience item and therefore considered not medically necessary. 

A tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube plug/stop is used as an alternative to a tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube and therefore for a member receiving a tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube plug/stop, a tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube is considered not medically necessary. 

The table below lists the maximum number of items/units of service that are usually medically necessary. The actual quantity needed for a particular member may be more or less than the amount listed depending on clinical factors that affect the frequency of supply changes. The explanation for use of a greater quantity of supplies than the amounts listed must be clearly documented in the member’s medical record.

Table: Usual Medically Necessary Quantity of Supplies:
Item Number per month (unless noted)
Adhesive, liquid or equal, any type, per oz.    4
Lubricant, per ounce  4
Tape, non-waterproof, per 18 square inches   40
Tape, waterproof, per 18 square inches  40
Adhesive remover, wipes, any type, each  50
Tracheostoma filter, any type, any size, each   62
Tracheostomy, inner cannula   62
Tracheostomy care kit for new tracheostomy  31
Tracheostomy cleaning brush, each   2
Tracheostomy care kit for established tracheostomy   31
Skin barrier, wipes or swabs, each 150
Tracheostoma valve, including diaphragm, each  1
Replacement diaphragm/faceplate for tracheostoma valve, each  1
Filter holder or filter cap, reusable, for use in a tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system, each 1 per 6 months
Filter for use in a trachostoma heat and moisture exchange system, each 62
Housing, reusable without adhesive, for use in a heat and moisture exchange system and/or with a tracheostoma valve, each   2 per 3 months
Adhesive disc for use in a heat and moisture exchange system and/or with tracheostoma valve, any type, each  62
Filter holder and integrated filter without adhesive, for use in a tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system, each  62
Housing and integrated adhesive, for use in a tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system and/or with a tracheostoma valve, each 62
Filter holder and integrated filter housing, and adhesive, for use as a tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system, each  62
Tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube, non-cuffed, polyvinylchloride (PVC), silicone or equal, each  1 per 3 months
Tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube, cuffed, polyvinylchloride (PVC), silicone or equal, each  1 per 3 months
Tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube, stainless steel or equal (sterilizable and reusable), each  1 per 12 months
Tracheostoma stent/stud/button, each  1 per 3 months
Tracheostomy tube collar/holder, each 31
Tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube plug/stop, each 2 per 3 months

Background

This policy is based upon Medicare DME MAC policy.  Medicare considers a tracheostomy as a prosthetic.

Medicare covers supplies for care of a tracheostomy site for persons following an open surgical tracheostomy which has been open or is expected to remain open for at least 3 months.

A tracheostomy collar/holder is used to secure the tracheostomy tube's positioning, minimize movement of the tracheostomy tube and reduce the risk of cannula disruption or decannulation.  Fastener tabs attach to the tracheostomy tube to hold the collar in place. Note: A tracheostomy tube collar/holder should not be billed for twill ties, or twill tape or equivalent fabric or plastic supplies. 

Heat/Moisture Exchangers (HME) are a type of stoma cover which help laryngectomees partially restore functions previously performed by the nose and upper airway.  During exhalation, warmth and humidity are conveyed from the lungs and deposited into the filter.  During inhalation, the warmth and moisture are picked back up by incoming air and returned to the lungs. 

HME consist of a plastic cassette/holder that contains a filter.  The holder fits into a plastic housing which is held in place over the tracheostoma by adhesive.  An HME may be used by itself or in addition to a tracheostoma valve. 

A tracehostoma filter is a small filter usually having adhesive along one edge which is attached to the skin and simply covers the tracheostoma to keep large piece of debris out.  It is not an HME. 

Moisture exchanger, disposable, for use with invasive mechanical ventilation is a moisture exchanger that is used only with an invasive mechanical ventilator; it is not an HME over a tracheostoma. 

A reusable filter holder or filter cap for use in a trachostoma heat and moisture exchange system  is a device that connects to the tracheostoma cassette and holds an HME filter.  The holder/cap can open and close to replace the HME filter. 

A filter for use in a trachostoma heat and moisture exchange system is a filter that fits into a reusable filter holder or filter cap for use in a trachostoma HME system. 

An adhesive disc for use in a heat and moisture exchange system and/or with tracheostoma valve is a double sided adhesive disc that attaches the HME cassette to the member’s skin. 

A filter holder and integrated filter without adhesive, for use in a tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system is an integrated filter and holder that utilizes an adhesive disc for use in a heat and moisture exchange system and/or with tracheostoma valve to fit over the tracheostomy or may utilize liquid adhesive on both sides of the cassette to attach the HME to the member. 

A housing and integrated adhesive, for use in a tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system and/or with a tracheostoma valve is integrated housing and adhesive used with either an HME or tracheostoma valve. 

A filter holder and integrated filter housing, and adhesive, for use as a tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system is the integrated filter holder and housing used with the HME system. 

A tracheostomy valve with diaphragm is a device used over the tracheostomy stoma by a member who has had the larynx removed and has a trachealesophageal voice prosthesis, but does not have a tracheostomy tube.

A tracheostomy care or cleaning starter kit is provided in the first 2 post-operative weeks, and contains the following:

  • 1 plastic tray
  • 1 basin
  • 1 pair sterile gloves
  • 1 tube brush
  • 3 pipe cleaners
  • 1 pre-cut tracheostomy dressing
  • 1 roll gauze
  • 4 4x4 sponges
  • 2 cotton tip applicators
  • 30 inches twill tape.

A tracheostomy care kit for an established tracheostomy is provided after the first 2 post-operative weeks, and contains the following:

  • 1 tube brush
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • 2 cotton tip applicators
  • 30 inches twill tape
  • 2 4x4 sponges. 

Tracheostomy care kits for new or established tracheostomy includes a tracheostomy cleaning brush. 


Table: CPT Codes / HCPCS Codes / ICD-10 Codes
Code Code Description

Information in the [brackets] below has been added for clarification purposes.   Codes requiring a 7th character are represented by "+":

HCPCS codes covered if selection criteria are met :

A4364 Adhesive, liquid or equal, any type, per oz
A4402 Lubricant, per ounce
A4450 Tape, non-waterproof, per 18 square inches
A4452 Tape, waterproof, per 18 square inches
A4456 Adhesive remover, wipes, any type, each
A4481 Tracheostoma filter, any type, any size, each
A4623 Tracheostomy, inner cannula
A4625 Tracheostomy care kit for new Tracheostomy
A4626 Tracheostomy cleaning brush, each
A4629 Tracheostomy care kit for established Tracheostomy
A5120 Skin barrier, wipes or swabs, each
A7501 Tracheostoma valve, including diaphragm, each
A7502 Replacement diaphragm/faceplate for Tracheostoma valve, each
A7503 Filter holder or filter cap, reusable, for use in a Tracheostoma valve, each
A7504 Filter for use in Tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system, each
A7505 Housing reusable without adhesive, for use in heat and moisture exchange system and /or with a Tracheostoma valve, each
A7506 Adhesive disc for use in a heat and moisture exchange system and/or with Tracheostoma valve, any type
A7507 Filter holder and integrated filter without adhesive, for use in a Tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system, each
A7508 Housing and integrated adhesive, for use in Tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system and /or with a Tracheostoma valve, each
A7509 Filter holder and integrated filter housing, and adhesive, for us as a Tracheostoma heat and moisture exchange system, each
A7520 Tracheostomy /Laryngectomy tube, non-cuffed, polyvinylchloride (PVC), silicone or equal, each
A7521 Tracheostomy /Laryngectomy tube, cuffed, polyvinylchloride (PVC), silicone or equal, each
A7522 Tracheostomy /Laryngectomy tube, stainless steel or equal (serializable and reusable), each
A7524 Tracheostoma stent/stud/button, each
A7526 Tracheostomy tube collar/holder, each

HCPCS codes not covered for indications listed in the CPB:

A7523 Tracheostomy shower protector, each
A7527 Tracheostomy/laryngectomy tube plug/stop, each

ICD-10 codes covered if selection criteria are met:

J95.00 - J95.09 Tracheostomy complications
Z43.0 Encounter for attention to tracheostomy
Z93.0 Tracheostomy status

The above policy is based on the following references:

  1. NHIC, Corp. Tracheostomy care supplies. Medicare Local Coverage Determination (LCD) L33832. Durable Medical Equipment Medical Administrative Contractor (DME MAC) Jurisdiction A. Hingham, MA: NHIC; effective October 1, 2015.
  2. NHIC, Corp. Tracheostomy care supplies. Medicare Policy Article A52492. Durable Medical Equipment Medical Administrative Contractor (DME MAC) Jurisdiction A. Hingham, MA: NHIC; effective October 2015.