Business Medical Press Release

Medicare Sets Reimbursement Rates for Personal Exoskeletons: A Milestone for Accessibility

Medicare-Sets-Reimbursement-Rates-for-Personal-Exoskeletons-Apr-2024

Developing news: 

ReWalk Robotics, now operating under the name Lifeward, and Ekso Bionics, have both separately announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has officially revised its April 2024 Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (“DMEPOS”) Fee Schedule to include a final lump-sum Medicare purchase fee schedule amount for personal exoskeletons. It is hard to predict the impact of this announcement, but it could quickly become the most critical exo-related news event of the last decade.

“This CMS publication finalizes the payment rate for the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton for 2024, which importantly concludes all open items related to establishing Medicare benefit category assignment, coding, and reimbursement,” said Larry Jasinski, CEO of Lifeward. “With this clarity, physicians can now prescribe the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton with confidence that Medicare patients will have an established reimbursement pathway, allowing us to accelerate the process of providing our devices to the people who need them.”

“There are clinically demonstrated advantages for individuals with SCI who train with Ekso’s Indego Personal device in post-acute care that help improve their quality of life,” said Jenna Tosto-Mancuso, PT, DPT, NCS, Clinical Manager, Division of Rehabilitation Innovation at Mount Sinai. “As patients can now benefit from reimbursement, those covered by CMS will gain improved access to this life changing device, which has the ability to accelerate their recovery outside of in-clinic or hospital rehabilitation and allow for better mobility in everyday life, which has associated mental health benefits.”

This is a developing news piece, so the exact impact remains unknown. What is reported is that home-use powered exoskeletons, likely for walking assistance only, will be reimbursed $109,238 to $81,929 at an established rate of $91,032. The two devices immediately impacted are the Lifeward (previously ReWalk Robotics) ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton and the Ekso Indego Personal. This is likely to significantly increase accessibility and interest for all eligible Medicare beneficiaries. The list of applicable devices may expand quickly.

How was this monumental ruling achieved? See our in-depth interview with Lifeward CEO Larry Jasinski on pages 4 to 5 of the Exoskeleton Report Digital Magazine Vol 2 Issue 1 link.

Which other exoskeleton devices could potentially one day benefit from this ruling:

  • Atalante Personal may become cleared and sold in the U.S.
  • The ABLE by ABLE Human Motion may also be approved and covered for one day.
  • ExoAtlet II can potentially join the list for adults and pediatric versions.
  • Trexo Robotics could be a candidate as well.

(see also: Intended Use of the 11 FDA-Approved Medical Exoskeletons in 2023)

References:

  • Medicare Revises 2024 Fee Schedule to Include Payment Rate for the ReWalk Personal Exoskeleton, Lifeward News & Events, April 12, 2024, link
  • Ekso Bionics Receives Final Payment Determination for Medicare Reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for Ekso Indego Personal, Ekso Bionics Press Releases, April 12, 2024, link

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