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Clinical Policy Bulletin:
Pressure Reducing Support Surfaces
Number: 0430


Policy

Aetna considers pressure-relieving support surfaces medically necessary as durable medical equipment (DME) according to the selection criteria set forth below.

  1. Group 1 Support Surfaces:

    A group 1 mattress overlay or mattress is considered medically necessary DME if the member meets:

    1. criterion 1, or
    2. criteria 2 or 3 and at least one of criteria 4 to 7

      1. Completely immobile -- i.e., member can not make changes in body position without assistance.
      2. Limited mobility -- i.e., member can not independently make changes in body position significant enough to alleviate pressure.
      3. Any stage pressure ulcer on trunk or pelvis.
      4. Impaired nutritional status.
      5. Fecal or urinary incontinence.
      6. Altered sensory perception.
      7. Compromised circulatory status.

    A group 1 support surface is considered experimental and investigational when these criteria are not met because of insufficient evidence in the peer-reviewed literature.

  2. Group 2 Pressure Reducing Support Surfaces:

    Alternating Pressure and Low Air Loss Mattresses and Overlays

    A group 2 support surface is considered medically necessary DME if the member meets:

    1. criteria 1 and 2 and 3, or
    2. criterion 4, or
    3. criteria 5 and 6.

      1. The member has multiple stage II (partial thickness skin loss) pressure ulcers located on the trunk or pelvis.
      2. The member has been on a comprehensive ulcer treatment program for at least the past month, which has included the use of an appropriate group 1 support surface.
      3. The member's ulcers have worsened or remained the same over the past month.
      4. The member has large or multiple stage III (full thickness tissue loss) or stage IV (deep tissue destruction) pressure ulcer(s) on the trunk or pelvis.
      5. The member has had a recent myocutaneous flap or skin graft for a pressure ulcer on the trunk or pelvis (surgery within the past 60 days).
      6. The member has been on a group 2 or 3 support surface immediately prior to a recent discharge from a hospital or nursing facility (discharge within the past 30 days).

    The comprehensive ulcer treatment described in criterion 2 above should generally include:

    • Appropriate management of moisture/incontinence;
    • Appropriate turning and positioning;
    • Appropriate wound care (for stage II, III, or IV ulcer);
    • Education of the member and caregiver on the prevention and/or management of pressure ulcers;
    • Nutritional assessment and intervention consistent with the overall plan of care;
    • Regular assessment by the nurse, physician, or other licensed healthcare practitioner (usually at least weekly for a member with a stage III or stage IV ulcer).

    If the member is on a group 2 surface, there should be a care plan established by the physician or home care nurse, which includes the above elements.

    When a group 2 support surface is prescribed for a myocutaneous flap or skin graft, continued use is generally considered medically necessary for up to 60 days from the date of surgery.

    Use of a group 2 support surface is considered medically necessary until the ulcer is healed or, if healing does not continue, there is documentation in the medical record to show: (i) other aspects of the care plan are being modified to promote healing, or (ii) the use of the alternating pressure mattress is medically necessary for wound management. 

    A group 2 support surface is considered experimental and investigational when these criteria are not met because of insufficient evidence in the peer-reviewed literature.

  3. Group 3 Pressure Reducing Support Surfaces:

    Air-Fluidized Beds (Bead Beds)

    An air-fluidized bed is considered medically necessary DME only if all of the following criteria are met:

    1. The member has a stage III (full thickness tissue loss) or stage IV (deep tissue destruction) pressure ulcer.

      1. A stage III or stage IV pressure ulcer of the foot does not require an air-fluidized bed because the foot can be elevated to relieve pressure.
      2. If the member is on an air-fluidized bed and an ulcer is less than 8 square centimeters and/or it is in an area other than the posterior trunk or pelvis, the attending physician must document why an alternative support surface would not be medically effective.

    2. The member is bedridden or chair bound as a result of severely limited mobility.
    3. In the absence of an air-fluidized bed, the member would require institutionalization (i.e., hospitalization or placement in a nursing home).
    4. The air-fluidized bed is ordered in writing by the member's attending physician based upon a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of the member after conservative treatment has been tried without success.

      1. The evaluation generally must be performed within a week prior to initiation of therapy with the air-fluidized bed.

    5. A trained adult caregiver is available to assist the member with activities of daily living, fluid balance, dry skin care, repositioning, recognition and management of altered mental status, dietary needs, prescribed treatments, and management and support of the air-fluidized bed system and its problems such as leakage.
    6. A physician directs the home treatment regimen, and reevaluates and recertifies the need for the air-fluidized bed on a monthly basis;
    7. All other alternative equipments have been considered and ruled out.

      The conservative treatment program should generally include:

      1. Appropriate management of moisture/incontinence,
      2. Appropriate turning and positioning,
      3. Appropriate wound care,
      4. Assessment by a physician, nurse, or other licensed healthcare practitioner at least weekly,
      5. Education of the member and caregiver on the prevention and/or management of pressure ulcers,
      6. Nutritional assessment and intervention consistent with the overall plan of care,
      7. Use of a group 2 support surface, if appropriate.

    The member must generally have been on the conservative treatment program for at least 1 month prior to use of the air-fluidized bed with worsening or no improvement of the ulcer.  Continued use of an air-fluidized bed is considered medically necessary until the ulcer is healed, or if healing does not continue, there is documentation in the medical record to show that: (i) other aspects of the care plan are being modified to promote healing; or (ii) the use of the bed is medically necessary for wound management.

    Note: Coverage of an air-fluidized bed is limited to the equipment itself.  Architectural adjustments such as electrical or structural improvements for the air-fluidized bed are generally excluded from coverage.  In addition, services of informal caregivers are excluded from coverage.  Please check benefit plan descriptions.

    An air-fluidized bed is considered experimental and investigational because of insufficient evidence in the peer-reviewed literature when the afore-mentioned criteria are not met.

    An air-fluidized bed has no proven value for persons with any of the following contraindications: 

    1. Electrical system is insufficient for the anticipated increase in energy consumption;
    2. Structural support is inadequate to support the weight of the air-fluidized bed system (it generally weighs 1,600 pounds or more);
    3. The caregiver is unwilling or unable to provide the type of care required by the patient on an air-fluidized bed;
    4. The member has co-existing pulmonary disease (the lack of firm back support makes coughing ineffective and dry air inhalation thickens pulmonary secretions);
    5. The member requires treatment with wet soaks or moist wound dressings that are not protected with an impervious covering such as plastic wrap or other occlusive material; or
    6. Other known contraindications to use of an air-fluidized bed exist.

    Examples of brands of group 3 support surfaces (air-fluidized beds) include the Clinitron, Fluid Air, and Mediscus Heavy Duty System.

  4. Ordinary Air Mattresses:

    Note: Aetna does not cover air mattresses other than alternating air mattresses and low-air-loss beds because they do not meet Aetna's contractual definition of durable medical equipment (i.e., because they are not durable (made to withstand prolonged use), not mainly used in the treatment of disease or injury, and are normally of use to persons who do not have a disease or injury.  Please check benefit plan descriptions for details.  The following are examples of brand names of air mattresses that are not covered:

    1. Air Flow Mat air-filled vibrating mattress
    2. Air-O-Pad air mattress.
       
  5. Sheepskin and Lambswool Pads:

    Medical necessity criteria for sheepskin and lambswool pads are the same as for alternating pressure pads and mattresses (group 2 pressure-reducing support surfaces).

  6. Decubitus Care Accessories:

    1. Bed blanket cradle (keeps bed covers from touching affected skin) are considered medically necessary for diabetic ulcers, decubiti or burns, or gouty arthritis.
    2. Heel or elbow protectors are considered medically necessary.

For all types of support surfaces, the support surface provided for the member should be one in which the member does not “bottom out”.  Bottoming out is the finding that an outstretched hand can readily palpate the bony prominence (coccyx or lateral trochanter) when it is placed palm up between the undersurface of the overlay or mattress and in an area under the bony prominence.  This bottoming out criterion should be tested with the member in the supine position with their head flat, in the supine position with their head slightly elevated (no more than 30 degrees), and in the sidelying position.  Support surfaces that do not prevent bottoming out are considered not medically necessary.



Background

Pressure relieving support surfaces are designed to prevent or promote the healing of pressure ulcers by reducing or eliminating tissue interface pressure.  Most of these devices reduce interface pressure by conforming to the contours of the body so that pressure is distributed over a larger surface area rather than concentrated on a more circumscribed location.

The purpose of this clinical policy bulletin (CPB) is to provide guidance on selection of support surfaces.  This assessment provides a comparative evaluation of alternating air mattresses (such as the Pegasus Airwave System), air-fluidized beds (such as the Clinitron bed), and low-air-loss mattresses (such as the Flexicair bed).  This CPB addresses coverage of mattress overlays, specialized mattresses and specialty beds.  Such devices are made entirely of foam, are constructed of an outer membrane that encases a gel, foam, air, water, or polyfill, or are engineered to fluidize ceramic beads.

This clinical policy on pressure-relieving support surfaces is based on Medicare criteria and on the recommendations of the AHCPR Treatment of Pressure Ulcers Guidelines Panel.  Use of low-air-loss beds and air-fluidized beds is reserved for patients with stage III and stage IV ulcers.  Because pressure-reducing support surfaces can be developed and marketed without efficacy studies, few data exist to recommend their rational use.  In the absence of evidence demonstrating differences in efficacy between air-fluidized beds, low-air-loss beds, and alternating air mattresses, it is reasonable to reserve treatment with the most expensive of these 3 types of support surfaces to patients with ulcers that have failed to heal with one of the other types of beds.

The 1994 AHCPR Guidelines on Treatment of Pressure Ulcers provides an algorithm for selection of overlays and mattresses.  Low-air-loss beds and air-fluidized beds are reserved for patients with multiple, large, truncal stage III or IV ulcers and for patients who have bottomed out on a dynamic overlay or mattress.  It is reasonable to first try a low-air-loss bed (such as a Flexair) or a dynamic overlay (such as a Pegasus Airwave) and progress to an air-fluidized bed (such as a Clinitron) if it appears that the patient's ulcer is not healing properly.

No conclusions about the comparative efficacy of the low-air-loss bed, the alternating air mattress, and the air-fluidized bed can be drawn from available evidence because of a lack of studies that compare these support surfaces to each other.  Published studies of support surfaces have compared air-flotation beds or alternating air mattresses to static support surfaces or regular mattresses.  The Treatment of Pressure Ulcers Guidelines Panel found that “[n]o studies have compared the effectiveness of low-air-loss beds and air-fluidized beds.”  The Panel concluded that “[a] randomized controlled trial will be required to compare low-air-loss bed and air-fluidized bed therapy.”

The August 1997 issue of Clinics in Geriatric Medicine was devoted to treatment of pressure ulcers.  Experts on pressure ulcers, including several members of the AHCPR's Treatment of Pressure Ulcers Guidelines Panel, reviewed the medical literature that has appeared since the publication of the AHCPR pressure ulcer guidelines.  Remsberg and Bennett (1997) reviewed the literature on overlays, replacement mattresses, and specialty beds.  The authors concluded:

"Expensive low-air-loss beds and air-fluidized beds have been inadequately studied, and their use is usually driven by reimbursement issues and the experience and biases of nurses and physicians.  Although two randomized prospective trials showed that healing rates were statistically superior for these expensive devices, one study did not demonstrate superior healing.  In all of these studies, some patients developed new sores despite treatment on the specialty surfaces.  In addition to statistical superiority, clinical significance must also be evaluated.  For example, in the only randomized trial assessing the efficacy of air-fluidized beds, even the authors noted that the reported outcome differences (0.5 cm2 median increase in surface area in the control group versus 1.2 cm2 median decrease in the treatment group) were hardly clinically impressive.  In a large retrospective descriptive study, the observation was made that many patients who were admitted to a long-stay hospital for treatment of severe pressure sores on air-fluidized beds died within the first 30 days after admission.  Since no discernible pressure sore healing occurred for these patients before they died, the issue of futility must be considered when making treatment decisions for similar patients".

Patients using pressure-reducing support surfaces should have a care plan, which has been established by the patient's physician and home care nurse, which is documented in the patient's medical records, and which generally should include the following:

  • Appropriate management of moisture/incontinence;
  • Appropriate turning and positioning;
  • Appropriate wound care (for stage II, III, or IV ulcer);
  • Education of the patient and caregiver on the prevention and/or management of pressure ulcers;
  • Nutritional assessment and intervention consistent with the overall plan;
  • Regular assessment by a nurse, physician, or other licensed healthcare practitioner.

Appendix

The following are definitions and instructions relevant to interpretation of this policy.

Pressure Ulcer Staging:

The staging of pressure ulcers used in this policy is as follows:

Stage I Non-blanchable erythema of intact skin
Stage II Partial thickness skin loss involving epidermis and/or dermis
Stage III Full thickness skin loss involving damage or necrosis of subcutaneous tissue that may extend down to, but not through, underlying fascia
Stage IV Full thickness skin loss with extensive destruction, tissue necrosis or damage to muscle, bone, or supporting structures

Group 1 Support Surfaces:

The following are considered group 1 support surfaces: pressure pads for mattresses, non-powered pressure reducing mattresses, and powered pressure reducing mattress overlay systems.  Each of the support surfaces described below is considered medically necessary when criteria for group 1 support surfaces are met.

Pressure pads for mattresses are non-powered pressure-reducing mattress overlays.  These devices are designed to be placed on top of a standard hospital or home mattress.  Pressure pads for mattresses with the following features are considered medically necessary when criteria for group 1 support surfaces are met:

  • A gel mattress overlay is considered a group 1 support surface only if the gel or gel-like layer has a height of 2 inches or greater.
  • A water mattress overlay is considered a group 1 support surface if it has a filled height of 3 inches or greater.
  • An air mattress overlay has interconnected air cells that are inflated with an air pump.  Only air mattress overlays with a cell height of 3 inches or greater are considered group 1 support surfaces.
  • Only foam mattress overlays with all of the following features are considered group 1 support surfaces:
     
    1. Base thickness of 2 inches or greater and peak height of 3 inches or greater if it is a convoluted overlay (e.g., eggcrate) or an overall height of at least 3 inches if it is a non-convoluted overlay; and
    2. Durable, waterproof cover; and
    3. Foam with a density and other qualities that provide adequate pressure reduction.

    Non-powered pressure reducing mattresses with the following features are considered medically necessary when criteria for a group 1 support surface are met:

  • Only foam mattresses with all of the following features are considered group 1 support surfaces:

    1. A foam height of 5 inches or greater; and
    2. Can be placed directly on a hospital bed frame; and
    3. Durable, waterproof cover; and
    4. Foam with a density and other qualities that provide adequate pressure reduction.
       
  • Only air, water, or gel mattresses with all of the following features are considered group 1 support surfaces:

    1. A height of 5 inches or greater of the air, water, or gel layer (respectively); and
    2. Can be placed directly on a hospital bed frame; and
    3. Durable, waterproof cover.

Powered pressure reducing mattress overlay systems (alternating pressure or low air loss) are considered group 1 support surfaces only if all of the following features are present:

  1. An air pump or blower which provides either sequential inflation and deflation of air cells or a low interface pressure throughout the overlay; and
  2. Height of the air chambers, proximity of the air chambers to one another, frequency of air cycling (for alternating pressure overlays), and air pressure provide adequate patient lift, reduce pressure, and prevent bottoming out; and
  3. Inflated cell height of the air cells through which air is being circulated is 2.5 inches or greater.

Examples of group 1 support surfaces include the WAFFLE Brand Air Insert With Foam Base, the WAFFLE Brand Static Air Mattress Overlay, and the Aquatherm Tender-Clous Static Air System.

Group 2 Support Surfaces:

The following are considered group 2 support surfaces: powered pressure reducing mattresses, semi-electric or total electric hospital beds with powered pressure reducing mattresses, powered pressure reducing mattress overlays, advanced non-powered pressure reducing mattresses, and advanced non-powered pressure reducing mattress overlays.  Each of the support surfaces described below is considered medically necessary when criteria for group 2 support surfaces are met.

A powered pressure reducing mattress (alternating pressure low air loss, or powered flotation without air loss) is considered a group 2 support surface only if all of the following features are present:

  1. A surface designed to reduce friction and shear; and
  2. An air pump or blower that provides either sequential inflation and deflation of the air cells or a low interface pressure throughout the mattress; and
  3. Can be placed directly on a hospital bed frame; and
  4. Height of the air chambers, proximity of the air chambers to one another, frequency of air cycling (for alternating pressure mattress), and air pressure to provide adequate patient lift, reduce pressure, and prevent bottoming out; and
  5. Inflated cell height of the air cells through which air is being circulated is 5 inches or greater.

Semi-electric or total electric hospital beds with fully integrated powered pressure-reducing mattresses that have all of the features described above are considered group 2 support surfaces.

An advanced non-powered pressure-reducing mattress overlay is considered a group 2 support surface if all of the following features are present:

  1. A surface designed to reduce friction and shear; and
  2. Documented evidence to substantiate that the product is effective for the treatment of conditions described by the medical necessity criteria for group 2 support surfaces; and
  3. Height and design of individual cells provide significantly more pressure reduction than group 1 overlay and prevent bottoming out; and
  4. Total height of 3 inches or greater.

A powered pressure reducing mattress overlay (low air loss, powered flotation without low air loss, or alternating pressure) is considered a group 2 support surface if all of the following features are present:

  1. A surface designed to reduce friction and shear; and
  2. An air pump or blower that provides either sequential inflation and deflation of the air cells or a low interface pressure throughout the overlay; and
  3. Height of the air chambers, proximity of the air chambers to one another, frequency of air cycling (for alternating pressure overlays), and air pressure to provide adequate patient lift, reduce pressure and prevent bottoming out; and
  4. Inflated cell height of the air cells through which air is being circulated is 3.5 inches or greater.

An advanced non-powered pressure-reducing mattress is considered a group 2 support surface if all of the following features are present:

  1. A surface designed to reduce friction and shear; and
  2. Can be placed directly on a hospital bed frame; and
  3. Documented evidence to substantiate that the product is effective for the treatment of conditions described by the medical necessity criteria for group 2 support surfaces; and
  4. Height and design of individual cells that provide significantly more pressure than a group 1 mattress and prevent bottoming out; and
  5. Total height of 5 inches or greater.

Examples of group 2 pressure reducing support surfaces include the ROHO Dry Flotation Mattress System, the Flexicare Low-Air-Loss Bed, the Mediscus Air Support Therapy, the Grand Dyna-Care Alternating Pressure-Relief Seat Pad, and the Aquatherm Deluxe Alternating Pressure Pad.

Group 3 Support Surfaces:

Group 3 support surfaces include air-fluidized beds.  An air-fluidized bed uses warm air under pressure to set small ceramic beads in motion which simulate the movement of fluid.  When the member is placed in the bed, his body weight is evenly distributed over a large surface area, which creates the sensation of “floating.”  Air-fluidized beds are considered medically necessary when the criteria for group 3 support surfaces are met.

Note that pressure-reducing support surfaces containing multiple components are categorized according to the clinically predominant component (usually the topmost layer of a multi-layer product).

A support surface that does not meet the characteristics specified in the support surface policy will usually be considered not medically necessary.

 
CPT Codes / HCPCS Codes / ICD-9 Codes
Pressure reducing support surfaces:
HCPCS codes covered if selection criteria are met:
A4640 Replacement pad for use with medically necessary alternating pressure pad owned by patient
E0181 Powered pressure reducing mattress overlay/pad, alternating, with pump, includes heavy duty
E0182 Pump for alternating pressure pad, for replacement only
E0184 Dry pressure mattress
E0185 Gel or gel-like pressure pad for mattress, standard mattress length and width
E0186 Air pressure mattress
E0187 Water pressure mattress
E0188 Synthetic sheepskin pad
E0189 Lambswool sheepskin pad, any size
E0191 Heel or elbow protector, each
E0193 Powered air flotation bed (low air loss therapy)
E0196 Gel pressure mattress (nonpowered)
E0197 Air pressure pad for mattress, standard mattress length and width
E0198 Water pressure pad for mattress, standard mattress length and width
E0199 Dry pressure pad for mattress, standard mattress length and width
E0277 Powered pressure-reducing air mattress
E0280 Bed cradle, any type
E0370 Air pressure elevator for heel
E0371 Nonpowered advanced pressure reducing overlay for mattress, standard mattress length and width
E0372 Powered air overlay for mattress, standard mattress length and width
E0373 Nonpowered advanced pressure reducing mattress
ICD-9 codes covered if selection criteria are met (not all-inclusive):
707.02 Decubitius ulcer of upper back
707.03 Decubitius ulcer of lower back
707.04 Decubitius ulcer of hip
707.05 Decubitius ulcer of buttock
707.09 Decubitius ulcer of other site
780.02 - 780.09 Alteration of consciousness
V49.84 Bed confinement status
Other ICD-9 codes related to the CPB:
250.60 - 250.63 Diabetes with neurological manifestations
250.70 - 250.73 Diabetes with peripheral circulatory disorders
260 - 269.9 Other nutritional deficiencies
274.0 Gouty arthropathy
330.0 - 332.1 Cerebral degenerations and Parkinson’s disease
340 - 344.9 Multiple sclerosis, other demyelinating diseases of central nervous system, hemiplegia and hemiparesis, infantile cerebral palsy, and other paralytic syndromes
356.0 - 359.9 Neuropathy, myoneural disorders, and muscular dystrophies and other myopathies
433.00 - 436 Occlusion and stenosis of precerebral or cerebral arteries, transient cerebral ischemia, and acute, but ill-defined, cerebrovascular disease
443.9 Peripheral vascular disease, unspecified
451.0 - 451.2 Phlebitis and thrombophlebitis of lower extremities
453.40 - 453.42 Venous embolism and thrombosis of deep vessels of lower extremity
454.0 - 454.9 Varicose veins of lower extremities
459.81 Venous (peripheral) insufficiency, unspecified
625.6 Stress incontinence, female
711.00 - 716.99 Arthropathy
730.00 - 730.99 Osteomyelitis, periostitis, and other infections involving bone
781.1 Disturbances of sensation of smell and taste
785.4 Gangrene
787.60 - 787.63 Incontinence of feces
788.30 - 788.39 Urinary incontinence
799.4 Cachexia
806.00 - 806.9 Fracture of vertebral column with spinal cord injury
820.0 - 828.1 Fracture of lower limb
885.0 - 887.7 Traumatic amputation of thumb, other fingers, arm and hand
895.0 - 897.7 Traumatic amputation of lower limb
905.0 Late effect of fracture of skull and face bones
905.1 Late effect of fracture of spine and trunk without mention of spinal cord lesion
905.5 Late effect of fracture of multiple and unspecified bones
905.9 Late effect of traumatic amputation
906.5 - 906.8 Late effects of burns
907.0 Late effect of intracranial injury without mention of skull fracture
907.2 Late effect of spinal cord injury
940.0 - 949.5 Burns
952.00 - 952.9 Spinal cord injury without evidence of spinal bone injury
V42.3 Organ or tissue replaced by transplant, skin
V43.83 Organ or tissue replaced by other means, artificial skin
V46.11 - V46.14 Respirator [Ventilator] dependence
V49.60 - V49.77 Upper or lower limb amputee status
Air-fluidized beds:
HCPCS codes covered if selection criteria are met:
E0194 Air fluidized bed
ICD-9 codes covered if selection criteria are met (not all-inclusive):
707.02 Decubitius ulcer of upper back
707.03 Decubitius ulcer of lower back
707.04 Decubitius ulcer of hip
707.05 Decubitius ulcer of buttock
707.09 Decubitius ulcer of other site
785.4 Gangrene
799.4 Cachexia
V49.84 Bed confinement status
ICD-9 codes not covered for indications listed in the CPB:
490 - 496 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and allied conditions
510.0 - 519.9 Other diseases of respiratory system
707.06 - 707.07 Decubitius ulcer of ankle or heel
730.07, 730.17, 730.27, 730.37, 730.77, 730.87, 730.97 Osteomyelitis, periostitis, and other infections involving bone, ankle and foot


The above policy is based on the following references:
  1. Bergstrom N, Bennett MA, Carlson CE, et al. Treatment of pressure ulcers. Clinical Practice Guideline No. 15. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0652. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR); December 1994.
  2. NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. The prevention and treatment of pressure sores. Effective Health Care. York, UK:  Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (CRD); 1995;2(1).
  3. Medicode, Inc. HCPCS 1999. Medicare's National Level II Codes. Salt Lake City, UT: Medicode; 1998.
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). Medicare Coverage Issues Manual §§ 60-09, 60-19. Baltimore, MD: HCFA; 1999.
  5. Remsburg RE, Bennett RG. Pressure-relieving strategies for preventing and treating pressure sores. Clin Geriatr Med. 1997;13(3):513-541.
  6. Tricenturion LLC. Pressure reducing support surfaces - Group 1. Medicare Local Coverage Determination (LCD) No. L5067. Durable Medical Equipment Program Security Contractor (DME PSC). Columbia, SC: Tricenturion; revised January 1, 2007.
  7. NHIC, Corp. Pressure reducing support surfaces - Group 2. Medicare Local Coverage Determination (LCD) No. L5068. Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractor (DME MAC) Jurisdiction A. Hingham, MA: NHIC; revised January 1, 2009.
  8. NHIC, Corp. Pressure reducing support surfaces - Group 3. Medicare Local Coverage Determination (LCD) No. L5069. Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractor (DME MAC) Jurisdiction A. Hingham, MA: NHIC; revised January 1, 2009.
  9. Whittemore R. Pressure-reduction support surfaces: A review of the literature. J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 1998;25(1):6-25.
  10. Bernath V. Prevention of pressure ulcers. Evidence Centre Evidence Report. Clayton, VIC: Centre for Clinical Effectiveness (CCE); 2000.
  11. ECRI. Air-fluidized beds used for treatment of pressure ulcers in the home environment. Prepared by ECRI for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Health Technology Assessment No. 6. Rockville, MD: AHRQ; November 7, 2001. Available at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/coverage/download/8b3-q4.pdf. Accessed May 16, 2007.
  12. Cullum N, Nelson EA, Flemming K, Sheldon T. Systematic reviews of wound care management: (5) beds; (6) compression; (7) laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, electrotherapy and electromagnetic therapy. Health Technol Assess. 2001;5(9):1-221.
  13. National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Pressure ulcer risk assessment and prevention. Inherited Clinical Guideline B. London, UK: NICE; April 2001. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/Docref.asp?d=16477. Accessed February 4, 2004.
  14. National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The use of pressure-relieving devices (beds, mattresses and overlays) for the prevention of pressure ulcers in primary and secondary care. Clinical Guideline 7. London, UK: National Health Service, National Collaborating Centre for Nursing & Supportive Care; October 2003. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/Docref.asp?d=97912. Accessed February 4, 2004.
  15. Cullum N, Petherick E. Pressure ulcers (updated). In: BMJ Clinical Evidence. London, UK: BMJ Publishing Group; February 2007.
  16. National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The prevention and treatment of pressure ulcers. Clinical Guideline No. 29. London, UK: NICE; 2005.
  17. Nixon J, Nelson E A, Cranny G, et al.; PRESSURE Trial Group. Pressure relieving support surfaces: A randomised evaluation. Health Technol Assess. 2006;10(22):1-180.
  18. Reddy M, Gill SS, Rochon PA. Preventing pressure ulcers: A systematic review. JAMA. 2006;296(8):974-984.
  19. Nicosia G, Gliatta AE, Woodbury MG, Houghton PE. The effect of pressure-relieving surfaces on the prevention of heel ulcers in a variety of settings: A meta-analysis. Int Wound J. 2007;4(3):197-207.
  20. Tippet AW. Reducing the incidence of pressure ulcers in nursing home residents: A prospective 6-year evaluation. Ostomy Wound Manage. 2009;55(11):52-58.
  21. Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Medical Advisory Secretariat (MAS). Management of chronic pressure ulcers. An evidence-based analysis. Ontario Health Technology Assessment Series. Toronto, ON: MAS; July 2009;9(3).
  22. McInnes E, Jammali-Blasi A, Bell-Syer SEM, et al. Support surfaces for pressure ulcer prevention. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(4):CD001735.
  23. McInnes E, Dumville JC, Jammali-Blasi A, Bell-Syer SE. Support surfaces for treating pressure ulcers. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(12):CD009490.
  24. Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI). Pressure ulcer prevention and treatment protocol. Health care protocol. Bloomington, MN: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI); January 2012.


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Copyright Aetna Inc. All rights reserved. Clinical Policy Bulletins are developed by Aetna to assist in administering plan benefits and constitute neither offers of coverage nor medical advice. This Clinical Policy Bulletin contains only a partial, general description of plan or program benefits and does not constitute a contract. Aetna does not provide health care services and, therefore, cannot guarantee any results or outcomes. Participating providers are independent contractors in private practice and are neither employees nor agents of Aetna or its affiliates. Treating providers are solely responsible for medical advice and treatment of members. This Clinical Policy Bulletin may be updated and therefore is subject to change.
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