U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jan 17, 2021
(a) General rule. CMS makes a pass-through payment for a medical device that meets the requirements in paragraph (b) of this section and that is described by a category of devices established by CMS under the criteria in paragraph (c) of this section.
(b) Eligibility. A medical device must meet the following requirements:
(1) If required by the FDA, the device must have received FDA premarket approval or clearance (except for a device that has received an FDA investigational device exemption (IDE) and has been classified as a Category B device by the FDA in accordance with §§ 405.203 through 405.207 and 405.211 through 405.215 of this chapter), or meet another appropriate FDA exemption for premarket approval or clearance. Under this provision, the pass-through payment application for a medical device must be submitted within 3 years from the date of the initial FDA approval or clearance, if required, unless there is a documented, verifiable delay in U.S. market availability after FDA approval or clearance is granted, in which case CMS will consider the pass-through payment application if it is submitted within 3 years from the date of market availability.
(2) The device is determined to be reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of an illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body part (as required by section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Act).
(3) The device is an integral part of the service furnished, is used for one patient only, comes in contact with human tissue, and is surgically implanted or inserted (either permanently or temporarily) or applied in or on a wound or other skin lesion.
(4) The device is not any of the following:
(i) Equipment, an instrument, apparatus, implement, or item of this type for which depreciation and financing expenses are recovered as depreciable assets as defined in Chapter 1 of the Medicare Provider Reimbursement Manual (CMS Pub. 15-1).
(ii) A material or supply furnished incident to a service (for example, a suture, customized surgical kit, or clip, other than radiological site marker).
(c) Criteria for establishing device categories. CMS uses the following criteria to establish a category of devices under this section:
(1) CMS determines that a device to be included in the category is not appropriately described by any of the existing categories or by any category previously in effect, and was not being paid for as an outpatient service as of December 31, 1996.
(2) CMS determines either of the following:
(i) The device to be included in the category has demonstrated that it will substantially improve the diagnosis or treatment of an illness or injury or improve the functioning of a malformed body part compared to the benefits of a device or devices in a previously established category or other available treatment; or
(ii) For devices for which pass-through payment status will begin on or after January 1, 2020, as an alternative pathway to paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, a new device is part of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Breakthrough Devices Program and has received marketing authorization for the indication covered by the Breakthrough Device designation.
(3) Except for medical devices identified in paragraph (e) of this section, CMS determines the cost of the device is not insignificant as described in paragraph (d) of this section.
(d) Cost criteria. CMS considers the average cost of a category of devices to be not insignificant if it meets the following conditions:
(1) The estimated average reasonable cost of devices in the category exceeds 25 percent of the applicable APC payment amount for the service related to the category of devices.
(2) The estimated average reasonable cost of the devices in the category exceeds the cost of the device-related portion of the APC payment amount for the related service by at least 25 percent.
(3) The difference between the estimated average reasonable cost of the devices in the category and the portion of the APC payment amount for the device exceeds 10 percent of the APC payment amount for the related service.
(e) Devices exempt from cost criteria. The following medical devices are not subject to the cost requirements described in paragraph (d) of this section, if payment for the device was being made as an outpatient service on August 1, 2000:
(1) A device of brachytherapy.
(2) A device of temperature-monitored cryoablation.
(f) Identifying a category for a device. A device is described by a category, if it meets the following conditions:
(1) Matches the long descriptor of the category code established by CMS.
(2) Conforms to guidance issued by CMS relating to the definition of terms and other information in conjunction with the category descriptors and codes.
(g) Limited period of payment for devices. CMS limits the eligibility of a pass-through payment established under this section to a period of at least 2 years, but not more than 3 years, beginning on the first date on which pass-through payment is made.
(h) Amount of pass-through payment. Subject to any reduction determined under § 419.62(b), the pass-through payment for a device is the hospital's charge for the device, adjusted to the actual cost for the device, minus the amount included in the APC payment amount for the device.