Medicare Coverage for Home Traction Units

Medicare covers home traction equipment as part of durable medical equipment (DME) if a doctor orders home usage. Medicare will cover 80 percent of the cost, leaving you to pay 20 percent after the Part B deductible is met.

Will Medicare Pay for a Home Traction Device?

Medicare covers a range of durable medical equipment (DME) for use in your home. That includes traction equipment, which can help provide relief to certain parts of your body.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, traction works to create tension to alleviate the pain or discomfort from an injury.

As with all other types of DME, it’s important to make sure that your doctor who is prescribing the traction equipment and your supplier are enrolled in Medicare. If they are not, then Part B will not help pay for the device and you will be responsible for the full cost.

Distinct types of DME are also covered in different ways, meaning that you may need to rent or buy the device depending on what is available and what Medicare will cover.

After you meet the Part B deductible, you will pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount.

Medicare Guidelines for Cervical Traction Units

Cervical traction devices also work to alleviate pain in the spine and neck area. Medicare will cover a cervical traction device if it is medically necessary.

Such conditions are a musculoskeletal or neurological impairment to qualify for a device. Additionally, you must demonstrate that you can tolerate using the equipment.

Medicare will not cover any device that works by being attached to a headboard or a free-standing frame.

Medicare could also cover specific cervical traction equipment if you have lower jaw and neck distortion or temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

There could be more coverage available through Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage plans, which are private and offer everything covered by Original Medicare.

Does Medicare Cover Lumbar Traction Devices?

Medicare coverage for lumbar traction and traction devices can be limited, but there are options available through Original Medicare to manage lumbar or back pain.

Medicare covers chiropractic services in some circumstances, such as a subluxation. Medically necessary physical therapy is typically covered, as well as acupuncture to treat lower back pain.

Medicare Part D, which is an optional benefit that covers prescription drugs, could be used to help with pain management.

Last Modified: July 6, 2021

7 Cited Research Articles

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021, June 9). Traction. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002336.htm#:~:text=Traction%20means%20pulling%20on%20part,position%20and%20keep%20it%20still.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2021, May 15). Cervical Traction. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470412/
  3. University of Utah. (2020, December 16). Vertebral Axial Decompression. Retrieved from https://uhealthplan.utah.edu/medicalpolicy/pdf/mp-053.pdf
  4. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020, January 1). Local Coverage Determination (LCD): Cervical Traction Devices. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/lcd-details.aspx?LCDId=33823&ContrId=389
  5. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2007, April 6). Decompression Therapy for the Treatment of Lumbosacral Pain. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coverage/DeterminationProcess/downloads/id47TA.pdf
  6. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (1997, April 15). National Coverage Determination (NCD) for Vertebral Axial Decompression. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/details/ncd-details.aspx?NCDId=124&ncdver=1&bc=AAAAEAAAAAAA&
  7. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Traction equipment. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/traction-equipment