Elastic bandages are those that contain fibers of rubber (latex, neoprene), spandex, or elastane. Roll bandages that do not contain these fibers are considered non-elastic bandages even though many of them (e.g., gauze bandages) are stretchable. Codes A6442-A6447 describe roll gauze-type bandages made either of cotton or of synthetic materials such as nylon, viscose, polyester, rayon, or polyamide. These bandages are stretchable, but do not contain elastic fibers. These codes include short-stretch bandages.
Codes A6448, A6449 and A6450 describe ACE type elastic bandages. Codes A6451 and A6452 describe elastic bandages that produce moderate or high compression that is sustained typically for one week. They are commonly included in multi-layer compression bandage systems. Suppliers billing these codes must be able to provide, upon request, documentation from the manufacturer verifying that the performance characteristics specified in the code narratives have been met.
When multi-layer compression bandage systems are used for the treatment of a venous stasis ulcer, each component is billed using a specific code for the component – e.g., moderate or high compression bandages (A6451, A6452), conforming bandages (A6443, A6444), self-adherent bandages (A6454), padding bandages (A6441), zinc paste impregnated bandage (A6456).
For the compression stocking codes A6531 and A6532, one unit of service is generally for one stocking. However, if a manufacturer has a product consisting of two components which are designed to be worn simultaneously on the same leg, the two components must be billed as one claim line with one unit of service – e.g., a product which consists of an unzippered liner and a zippered stocking.
The only products that may be billed with code A6545 (non-elastic compression wrap) are those which have received a written Coding Verification Review from the Pricing, Data Analysis, and Coding (PDAC) contractor and that are posted in the Product Classification List on the PDAC web site.