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Date Printed: October 17, 2017: 04:27 PM

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This medical policy (medical coverage guideline) is Copyright 2017, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF). All Rights Reserved. You may not copy or use this document or disclose its contents without the express written permission of BCBSF. The medical codes referenced in this document may be proprietary and owned by others. BCBSF makes no claim of ownership of such codes. Our use of such codes in this document is for explanation and guidance and should not be construed as a license for their use by you. Before utilizing the codes, please be sure that to the extent required, you have secured any appropriate licenses for such use. Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) is copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. No fee schedules, basic units, relative values, or related listings are included in CPT. The AMA assumes no liability for the data contained herein. Applicable FARS/DFARS restrictions apply to government use. CPT® is a trademark of the American Medical Association. The use of specific product names is illustrative only. It is not intended to be a recommendation of one product over another, and is not intended to represent a complete listing of all products available.

02-69000-06

Original Effective Date: 08/15/03

Reviewed: 10/19/16

Revised: 11/15/16

Subject: Implantable Bone-Conduction and Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids

THIS MEDICAL COVERAGE GUIDELINE IS NOT AN AUTHORIZATION, CERTIFICATION, EXPLANATION OF BENEFITS, OR A GUARANTEE OF PAYMENT, NOR DOES IT SUBSTITUTE FOR OR CONSTITUTE MEDICAL ADVICE. ALL MEDICAL DECISIONS ARE SOLELY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PATIENT AND PHYSICIAN. BENEFITS ARE DETERMINED BY THE GROUP CONTRACT, MEMBER BENEFIT BOOKLET, AND/OR INDIVIDUAL SUBSCRIBER CERTIFICATE IN EFFECT AT THE TIME SERVICES WERE RENDERED. THIS MEDICAL COVERAGE GUIDELINE APPLIES TO ALL LINES OF BUSINESS UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED IN THE PROGRAM EXCEPTIONS SECTION.

           
Position Statement Billing/Coding Reimbursement Program Exceptions Definitions Related Guidelines
           
Other References Updates    
           

DESCRIPTION:

Conventional external hearing aids can be generally subdivided into air conduction hearing aids and bone conduction hearing aids. Air conduction hearing aids require the use of ear molds, which may be problematic in patients with chronic middle ear and ear canal infections, atresia of the external canal, or an ear canal that cannot accommodate an ear mold. In these patients, bone conduction hearing aids may be an alternative. External bone conduction hearing aids function by transmitting sound waves through the bone to the ossicles of the middle ear. The external devices must be closely applied to the temporal bone, with either a steel spring over the top of the head or with the use of a spring-loaded arm on a pair of spectacles. These devices may be associated with either pressure headaches or soreness.

Bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHAs) are surgically implanted hearing devices that transmit sound directly to the inner ear through bone, bypassing the external auditory canal and middle ear. The BAHA system is composed of three main components: 1.) An internal titanium fixture that is surgically anchored to the skull in an area behind the ear; 2.) An external abutment that is connected to the implant at the time of surgery; and 3.) An external sound processor that is snapped on to the abutment. The sound processor vibrates the implant, which in turn vibrates the temporal bone. That vibration is then transmitted through other bones to the cochlea of the opposite ear, where it creates the sensation of sound. BAHAs are intended for use by patients who have conductive or mixed hearing loss.

Although no longer marketed, the Audiant™ bone conductor was a device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that consisted of an external processor that used transcutaneous inductive electromagnetic energy to cause vibration of an implanted titanium magnet screwed into the temporal bone. While the bone-anchored hearing aids have generally been used for those with conductive hearing loss, their use has also been investigated in patients with unilateral sensorineural deafness. In these patients, a bone-anchored device located near the deaf ear works as a transcranial contralateral routing of signal (CROS) to transmit sound to the contralateral functional cochlea via bone conduction.

The initially marketed BAHA device (Branemark bone anchored hearing aid, Entific Medical System) is based on the same concept. The labeled indication of the BAHA device is as follows: “BAHA hearing aid for single sided deafness is intended for patients who suffer from unilateral sensorineural deafness.”

The BAHA Divino® device (Entific Medical System) received 510(k) clearance from the FDA in 2004. This device is similar to the BAHA device, except that sound processing is digital instead of analog. The listed indications include the following: patients who have a conductive or mixed hearing loss and have certain bone conduction threshold levels, bilateral fitting for those with moderate to severe bilateral symmetric conductive and/or mixed hearing losses, and those with unilateral sensorineural deafness with normal contralateral hearing.

POSITION STATEMENT:

An FDA approved unilateral or bilateral fully or partially implantable bone-conduction (bone-anchored) hearing aid meets the definition of medical necessity as a prosthetic device in members with conductive or mixed hearing loss who meet at least one of the following conditions and the audiologic criteria below:

Audiologic criteria:

A pure-tone average bone-conduction threshold measured at 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 kHz or better than or equal to 45 dB (OBC and BP100 bone-anchored hearing aid devices), 55 dB (Intenso bone-anchored hearing aid device), or 65 dB (Cordele II bone-anchored hearing aid device).

Note: For bilateral implantation, members should meet the above audiologic criteria and have symmetrically conductive or mixed hearing loss as defined by a difference between left- and right-side bone-conduction threshold of less than 10 dB on average measured at 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 kHz (4 kHz for OBC and Ponto Pro bone-anchored hearing aid device), or less than 15 dB at individual frequencies.

An implantable bone-conduction (bone-anchored) hearing aid meet the definition of medical necessity as an alternative to an air-conduction contralateral routing of signal (CROS) hearing aid in members with single-sided sensorineural deafness and normal hearing in the other ear. The pure-tone average air-conduction threshold of the normal ear should be better than 20 dB measured at 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 kHz.

An implantable bone-conduction (bone-anchored) hearing aid is considered experimental or investigational for all other indications when the criteria are not met, including, but not limited to use in patients with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. There is insufficient clinical evidence to support other uses of an implantable bone-conduction (bone-anchored) hearing aid, including use in patients with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.

BILLING/CODING INFORMATION:

The following codes may be used to describe implantable bone conduction (bone-anchored) hearing aids and bone conduction hearing devices:

CPT Coding:

69710

Implantation or replacement of electromagnetic bone conduction hearing device in temporal bone

69711

Removal or repair of electromagnetic bone conduction hearing device in temporal bone

69714

Implantation, osseointegrated implant, temporal bone, with percutaneous attachment to external speech processor/cochlear stimulator; without mastoidectomy

69715

Implantation, osseointegrated implant, temporal bone, with percutaneous attachment to external speech processor/cochlear stimulator; with mastoidectomy

69717

Replacement (including removal of existing device), osseointegrated implant, temporal bone, with percutaneous attachment to external speech processor/cochlear stimulator; without mastoidectomy

69718

Replacement (including removal of existing device), osseointegrated implant, temporal bone, with percutaneous attachment to external speech processor/cochlear stimulator; with mastoidectomy

HCPCS Coding:

L8690

Auditory osseointegrated device, includes all internal and external components

L8691

Auditory osseointegrated device, external sound processor, replacement

L8692

Auditory osseointegrated device, external sound processor, used without osseointegration, body worn, includes headband or other means of external attachment

L8693

Auditory osseointegrated device abutment, any length, replacement only

ICD-10 Diagnoses Codes That Support Medical Necessity: (Effective 10/01/15)

H60.60 – H60.63

Unspecified chronic otitis externa

H60.8x1 – H60.8x9

Other otitis externa

H60.90 – H60.93

Unspecified otitis externa

H61.391 – H61.399

Other acquired stenosis of external ear canal

H62.8x1 – H62.8x9

Other disorders of right external ear in diseases classified elsewhere

H64.491 – H64.499

Other chronic nonsuppurative otitis media

H65.20 – H65.23

Chronic serous otitis media

H65.30 – H65.33

Chronic mucoid otitis media

H65.411 – H65.419

Chronic allergic otitis media

H65.491 – H65.499

Other chronic nonsuppurative otitis media, unspecified ear

H65.90 – H65.93

Unspecified nonsuppurative otitis media

H66.001 – H66.009

Acute suppurative otitis media

H90.0

Conductive hearing loss, bilateral

H90.11 – H90.12

Conductive hearing loss, unilateral

H90.2

Conductive hearing loss, unspecified

H90.3

Sensorineural hearing loss, bilateral

H90.41 – H90.42

Sensorineural hearing loss, unilateral with unrestricted hearing on the contralateral side

H90.5

Unspecified sensorineural hearing loss

H90.6

Mixed conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, bilateral

H90.71 – H90.72

Mixed conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, unilateral with unrestricted hearing on the contralateral side

H90.8

Mixed conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, unspecified

Q16.1, Q16.3, Q16.4

Congenital malformations of ear causing impairment of hearing

REIMBURSEMENT INFORMATION:

Refer to section entitled POSITION STATEMENT.

Reimbursement for replacement of an implantable bone-conduction (bone-anchored) hearing aid(s) and its external components may be covered for any one of the following:

PROGRAM EXCEPTIONS:

Federal Employee Program (FEP): Follow FEP guidelines.

State Account Organization (SAO): Follow SAO guidelines.

Medicare Advantage products:

No National Coverage Determination (NCD) and/or Local Coverage Determination (LCD) were found at the time of the last guideline reviewed date.

DEFINITIONS:

Atresia: congenital absence or closure of a normal body orifice or tubular organ; the absence of closure of the external auditory meatus (ear canal).

Bilateral: pertaining to both sides (both ears).

Bone Anchored Hearing Aid (BAHA): A hearing device that is implanted in the bone of the skull and directly stimulates the cochlea.

Bone conduction: the conduction of sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull.

Chronic: persisting over a long period of time.

Conductive hearing loss: a hearing loss that occurs when sound waves cannot transmit through the outer or middle ear or both.

Congenital: existing at, and usually before, birth; referring to conditions that are present at birth.

dB: decibel; unit for expressing the loudness of sound.

Dermatitis: inflammation of the skin.

Mixed hearing loss: a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss: a hearing loss that usually develops due to damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear (hair cells).

Unilateral: affecting but one side (one ear).

RELATED GUIDELINES:

Semi-Implantable Middle Ear Hearing Aids, 02-69000-05
Prosthetics, 09-L0000-05

OTHER:

Other names used to report implantable bone conduction hearing aids:

Note: The use of specific product names is illustrative only. It is not intended to be a recommendation of one product over another, and is not intended to represent a complete listing of all products available.

Audiant Bone Conductor
Auditory osseointegrated implant system
Bone Anchored Hearing Aids (BAHA)
Electromagnetic bone conduction hearing device (e.g., Xomed)
Osseointegrated implant

The Audiant™ bone conductor is a type of electromagnetic bone conduction hearing device. While this device is no longer actively marketed, patients with existing Audiant devices may require replacement, removal, or repair.

REFERENCES:

  1. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Type, degree, and configuration of hearing loss, 2015.
  2. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association-Implantable Hearing Aids, 2005
  3. Baguley DM, Bird J, Humphriss RL, et al. The evidence base for the application of contralateral bone anchored hearing aids in acquired unilateral sensorineural hearing loss in adults. Clinical Otolaryngology 2006; 31(1): 6-14.
  4. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Medical Policy Reference Manual. Implantable Bone-Conduction and Bone-Anchored Hearing Aids 7.01.03, 07/16.
  5. Bosman AJ, Snik AF, van der Pouw CT et al. Audiometric evaluation of bilaterally fitted bone-anchored hearing aids. Audiology 2001; 40(3): 158-167.
  6. Bradran K, Bunstone D, Arya AK et al. Patient satisfaction with the bone-anchored hearing aid: a 14-year experience. Otology & Neurotology 2006; 27(5): 659-666.
  7. Catalano PJ, Choi E, Cohen N. Office versus operating room insertion of the bone-anchored hearing aid: a comparative analysis. Otology & Neurotology 2005; 26(6): 1182-1185.
  8. Cochlear Americas-BAHA®: Bone Conduction Implants, 2007.
  9. Entific Medical System-Suppliers of BAHA (bone anchored sound aids) and osseointegration systems, 2007.
  10. House JW, Kutz JW Jr. Bone-anchored hearing aids: Incidence and management of postoperative complications. Otology & Neurotology 2007; 28(2): 213-217.
  11. Lin LM, Bowditch S, Anderson MJ et al. Amplification in the rehabilitation of unilateral deafness: speech in noise and directional hearing effects with bone-anchored hearing and contralateral routing of signal amplification. Otology & Neurotology 2006; 27(2): 172-182.
  12. McLarnon CM, Davison T, Johnson IJ. Bone-anchored hearing aid: comparison of benefit by patient subgroups. Laryngoscope 2004; 114(5): 942-944.
  13. Medicare Benefit Medical Policy Manual Chapter 16-General Exclusions From Coverage-100-Hearing Aids and Auditory Implants, 11/06/14.
  14. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders-Hearing Aids, 05/16.
  15. Priwin C, Stenfelt S, Granstrom G et al. Bilateral bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHAs): an audiometric evaluation. Laryngoscope 2004; 114(1): 77-84.
  16. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health Part 874-Ear, Nose, and Throat Devices Sec. 874.3300 Hearing Aid, 04/01/08.
  17. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health 510(k) Premarket Notification Database-Hearing Aid, Bone Conduction, 2007.
  18. U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Hearing Aids, 2009.

COMMITTEE APPROVAL:

This Medical Coverage Guideline (MCG) was approved by the BCBSF Medical Policy & Coverage Committee on 10/19/16.

GUIDELINE UPDATE INFORMATION:

08/15/03

Annual review/new Medical Coverage Guideline. Implanted Devices for Hearing Loss and Aural Rehabilitation 02-69000-02, Archived.

12/15/05

Revised description section; description clarified to include Medtronic, Xomed, and BAHA. Revised ICD-9-CM diagnoses code description (380.15, 380.23), and updated references.

11/15/06

Added 69717 and 69718 to billing and coding information section. Added code descriptor for 382.1 – 382.9. Updated references.

01/01/07

Annual HCPCS coding update: Added L8690 and L8691.

05/15/07

MCG Archived.

01/01/08

Reinstated MCG. Added “Bone-Anchored” to guideline name. Reformatted guideline. Updated guideline, and updated references.

01/01/09

Scheduled review. No change in position statement, and updated references.

12/15/09

Annual review; no change in position statement, and updated references.

01/01/10

Annual HCPCS coding update: added code L8692.

04/15/10

Added ICD-9 diagnoses: 389.10, 389.11, 389.12, 389.13, 389.15, 389.17, 389.18, 389.20 – 389.22, 744.02, and 744.04. Revised definitions and updated references.

01/01/11

Annual HCPCS coding update: added L8693.

01/15/11

Revision; related ICD-10 codes added.

09/15/11

Revised position statement; deleted wording: “as an alternative” and ”to an air conduction hearing aid”. Deleted “anchoring” from MCG subject. Added “anchored “to MCG subject.

12/01/11

Update; deleted ICD-9 code 774.02, added ICD-9 code 744.02, revised descriptor for ICD-9 code 381.4 and 381.9 and added related ICD-10 codes.

05/11/14

Revision: Program Exceptions section updated.

10/01/15

Revision; updated ICD9 and ICD10 coding sections.

11/01/15

Revision: ICD-9 Codes deleted.

11/15/16

Revision; revised position statement and audiologic criteria. Updated references.

Date Printed: October 17, 2017: 04:27 PM