The department or self-insurer will authorize and pay rental fee for equipment or devices if the need for the equipment will be for a short period of treatment during the acute phase of condition. Rental extending beyond sixty days requires prior authorization. If the equipment will be needed on long term basis, the department or self-insurer will consider purchase of the equipment or device. The department's or self-insurer's decision to rent or purchase an item of medical equipment will be based on a comparison of the projected rental costs of the item with its purchase price. An authorized representative of the department or self-insurer will decide whether to rent or purchase certain items, provided they are appropriate and medically necessary for treatment of the worker's accepted industrial condition. Decisions to rent or purchase items will be based on the following information:
(1) Purchase price of the item.
(2) Monthly rental fee.
(3) The prescribing doctor's estimate of how long the item will be needed.
The prescribing doctor must obtain prior authorization from the department or self-insurer, for rental or purchase of special equipment or devices. Also, all equipment (rentals and purchases), prosthetics, and orthotics must be billed using the appropriate codes, and billing forms, as determined by the medical aid rules and fee schedules.
The department or self-insurer will authorize and pay for prosthetics and orthotics as needed by the worker and substantiated by attending doctor. If such items are furnished by the attending doctor, the department or self-insurer will reimburse the doctor his cost for the item. See chapter 296-20
WAC (including WAC 296-20-124
) and the fee schedules for information regarding replacement of such items on closed claims.
The department or self-insurer will repair or replace originally provided damaged, broken, or worn-out prosthetics, orthotics, or special equipment devices upon documentation and substantiation from the attending doctor.
Provision of such equipment requires prior authorization. THE GRAVITY GUIDING SYSTEM, GRAVITY LUMBAR REDUCTION DEVICE, BACKSWING AND OTHER INVERSION TRACTION EQUIPMENT MAY ONLY BE USED IN A SUPERVISED SETTING. RENTAL OR PURCHASE FOR HOME USE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED NOR PAID BY THE DEPARTMENT OR SELF-INSURER.
EQUIPMENT NOT REQUIRING PRIOR AUTHORIZATION INCLUDES CRUTCHES, CERVICAL COLLARS, LUMBAR AND RIB BELTS, AND OTHER COMMONLY USED ORTHOTICS OF MINIMAL COST.
PERSONAL APPLIANCES SUCH AS VIBRATORS, HEATING PADS, HOME FURNISHINGS, HOT TUBS, WATERBEDS, EXERCISE BIKES, EXERCISE EQUIPMENT, JACUZZIES, PILLOWS, CASSETTE TAPES, EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS OR BOOKS, AND OTHER SIMILAR ITEMS WILL NOT BE AUTHORIZED OR PAID.
In no case will the department or self-insurer pay for rental fees once the purchase price of the rented item has been reached with the exception of oxygen equipment. The department or self-insurer may pay for rental fees of oxygen equipment beyond its purchase price.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020 and 51.04.030. 05-23-143, § 296-20-1102, filed 11/22/05, effective 1/3/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020, 51.04.030 and 1993 c 159. 93-16-072, § 296-20-1102, filed 8/1/93, effective 9/1/93. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020(4) and 51.04.030. 87-22-052 (Order 87-22), § 296-20-1102, filed 11/2/87; 86-06-032 (Order 86-19), § 296-20-1102, filed 2/28/86, effective 4/1/86; 83-16-066 (Order 83-23), § 296-20-1102, filed 8/2/83. Statutory Authority: RCW 51.04.020(4),51.04.030 , and 51.16.120(3). 81-24-041 (Order 81-28), § 296-20-1102, filed 11/30/81, effective 1/1/82; 81-01-100 (Order 80-29), § 296-20-1102, filed 12/23/80, effective 3/1/81.]