Oregon Bulletin

August 1, 2011


Department of Consumer and Business Services,
Workers’ Compensation Division
Chapter 436

Rule Caption: Payment for orthotic and prosthetic services under the workers’ compensation medical fee schedule.

Adm. Order No.: WCD 4-2011(Temp)

Filed with Sec. of State: 6-30-2011

Certified to be Effective: 7-5-11 thru 12-31-11

Notice Publication Date:

Rules Amended: 436-009-0080

Subject: This temporary rule amendment reverses the April 1, 2011 changes to OAR 436-009-0080, affecting maximum payments for orthotic and prosthetic services. Effective April 1, this rule limited payment in certain cases to “140 percent of the actual cost to the provider for the item as documented on a receipt of sale.” After consulting with stakeholders, the agency has determined that payment based on material and device costs is inadequate for orthotic and prosthetic services, and has amended the relevant rule to require payment at the provider’s usual rate, unless otherwise provided by a contract.

Rules Coordinator: Fred Bruyns—(503) 947-7717


Durable Medical Equipment and Medical Supplies

(1) Durable medical equipment (DME) is equipment that is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose, can withstand repeated use, could normally be rented and used by successive patients, is appropriate for use in the home, and not generally useful to a person in the absence of an illness or injury. For example: Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS), MicroCurrent Electrical Nerve Stimulation (MENS), home traction devices, heating pads, reusable hot/cold packs, etc. Unless otherwise provided by contract, fees for durable medical equipment shall be paid as follows:

(a) The insurer shall pay for the purchase of all compensable DME that are ordered and approved by the physician, at 85 percent of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). If no MSRP is available or the provider can demonstrate that 85 percent of the MSRP is less than 140 percent of the actual cost to the provider, the insurer must pay the provider 140 percent of the actual cost to the provider for the item as documented on a receipt of sale.

(b) The DME provider is entitled to payment for any labor and reasonable expenses directly related to any subsequent modifications other than those performed at the time of purchase, or repairs. A subsequent modification is one done other than as a part of the initial set-up at the time of purchase. The insurer shall pay for labor at the provider’s usual rate.

(c) The provider may offer a service agreement at an additional cost.

(d) Rental of all compensable DME shall be billed at the provider’s usual rate. Within 90 days of the beginning of the rental, the insurer may purchase the DME or device at the fee provided in this rule, with a credit for rental paid up to 2 months.

(2) A prosthetic is an artificial substitute for a missing body part or any device aiding performance of a natural function. For example: hearing aids, eye glasses, crutches, wheelchairs, scooters, artificial limbs, etc. Notwithstanding OAR 436-009-0040, unless otherwise provided by contract, the insurer must pay the fee for a prosthetic at the provider’s usual rate.

(3)(a) Testing for hearing aids must be done by a licensed audiologist or an otolaryngologist.

(b) Based on current technology, the preferred types of hearing aids for most workers are programmable BTE, ITE, and CIC multi channel. Any other types of hearing aids needed for medical conditions will be considered based on justification from the attending physician or authorized nurse practitioner.

(c) Without approval from the insurer or director, the payment for hearing aids may not exceed $5000 for a pair of hearing aids, or $2500 for a single hearing aid.

(4) An orthosis is an orthopedic appliance or apparatus used to support, align, prevent or correct deformities, or to improve the function of a moveable body part. For example: brace, splint, shoe insert or modification, etc. Notwithstanding OAR 436-009-0040, unless otherwise provided by contract, the insurer must pay the fee for an orthosis at the provider’s usual rate.

(5) Medical supplies are materials that may be reused multiple times by the same person, but a single supply is not intended to be used by more than one person, including, but not limited to incontinent pads, catheters, bandages, elastic stockings, irrigating kits, sheets, and bags. Unless otherwise provided by contract, the insurer must pay 80 percent of the provider’s usual rate for medical supplies.

(6) The worker may select the service provider, except for claims enrolled in a managed care organization (MCO) when service providers are specified by the MCO contract.

(7) Except as provided in subsection (2)(c) of this rule, this rule does not apply to a worker’s direct purchase of DME and medical supplies, and does not limit a worker’s right to reimbursement for actual out-of-pocket expenses under OAR 436-009-0025.

(8) DME, medical supplies and other devices dispensed by a hospital (inpatient or outpatient) shall be billed and paid according to OAR 436-009-0020.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 656.726(4)

Stats. Implemented: ORS 656.248

Hist.: WCD 9-1999, f. 5-27-99, cert. ef. 7-1-99; WCD 2-2001, f. 3-8-01, cert. ef. 4-1-01; WCD 3-2002, f. 2-25-02 cert. ef. 4-1-02; WCD 14-2003(Temp), f. 12-15-03, cert. ef. 1-1-04 thru 6-28-04; WCD 3-2004, f. 3-5-04 cert. ef. 4-1-04; WCD 2-2005, f. 3-24-05, cert. ef. 4-1-05; WCD 3-2006, f. 3-14-06, cert. ef. 4-1-06; WCD 2-2007, f. 5-23-07, cert. ef. 7-1-07; WCD 5-2008, f. 12-15-08, cert. ef. 1-1-09; WCD 1-2011, f. 3-1-11, cert. ef. 4-1-11; WCD 4-2011(Temp) f. 6-30-11, cert. ef. 7-5-11 thru 12-31-11

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