Billing for AAC: Device Type Helps Determine Codes Here’s the lowdown on coding and billing for AAC device evaluation, customization and ongoing treatment. Bottom Line
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Bottom Line  |   February 01, 2017
Billing for AAC: Device Type Helps Determine Codes
Author Notes
  • Kate Ogden, MPH, is an ASHA health policy associate. kogden@asha.org
    Kate Ogden, MPH, is an ASHA health policy associate. kogden@asha.org×
  • Neela Swanson is director of ASHA health care coding policy. nswanson@asha.org
    Neela Swanson is director of ASHA health care coding policy. nswanson@asha.org×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Practice Management / Bottom Line
Bottom Line   |   February 01, 2017
Billing for AAC: Device Type Helps Determine Codes
The ASHA Leader, February 2017, Vol. 22, 36-37. doi:10.1044/leader.BML.22022017.36
The ASHA Leader, February 2017, Vol. 22, 36-37. doi:10.1044/leader.BML.22022017.36
Coding for services related to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, including speech-generating devices (SGDs) and non-SGDs, can prove challenging for speech-language pathologists.
The answers to these frequently asked questions may help SLPs determine which Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes to use when providing services to people who use AAC.
What CPT codes should I use for a patient who needs an AAC device?
Two factors determine the appropriate code: whether you are performing an evaluation or providing treatment, and whether the device is speech-generating or non-speech-generating.
For the initial evaluation—to determine the type of AAC device that may be appropriate for the patient—use one of the following evaluation codes:
  • 92605, Evaluation for prescription of non-speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication device, face-to-face with the patient, first hour; and 92618, each additional 30 minutes.

  • 92607, Evaluation for prescription for speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication device, face-to-face with the patient, first hour; and 92608, each additional 30 minutes.

When the patient has the device, and you are working on appropriate use of the device for communication, or you are programming or modifying the device for the patient, use the code that applies to the type of device. These codes require the patient to be present during the session.
  • 92606, Therapeutic service(s) for the use of non-speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication device, including programming and modification.

  • 92609, Therapeutic services for the use of speech-generating device, including programming and modification.

For ongoing speech and language treatment, use:
  • 92507, Treatment of speech, language, voice, communication, and/or auditory processing disorder, individual.

Medicare does not reimburse for codes specific to evaluation or treatment for non-SGDs.

Will Medicare or other third-party payers reimburse for the non-speech-generating device evaluation and treatment codes?
Medicare does not reimburse for the codes specific to evaluation or treatment for non-speech-generating devices. Medicare views these codes as bundled with other services that the SLP would already be performing, such as speech-language evaluation or treatment. For example, Medicare considers the non-speech-generating device evaluation as part of—or bundled with—a full speech and language evaluation. This is because an SLP would typically complete a full speech and language evaluation when evaluating for candidacy for and potential benefit of AAC.
Medicaid and private health insurance plans, however, may pay for these services. Check with the payer first.
Many of my evaluations for an AAC device span multiple days. How do I code?
Payers typically have specific criteria for how often an evaluation can be billed in a given time period and under what circumstances, usually based on a change in the patient’s medical status. Check with your payer when in doubt. In this case, you should consider billing for only one evaluation, even though it spans multiple days. When submitting the claim, wait until you have completed the entire evaluation and bill based on the last date of service you saw the patient for the evaluation.
I have a patient who uses an AAC device for speech-language treatment. Should I use code 92507 or 92606/92609?
You should use 92507, because you are providing speech-language treatment. You should use 92606 or 92609 only if you are working with the patient on how to use the device itself and/or are modifying or programming it for their use.
Can I bill for both speech-language treatment (92507) and for services related to an AAC device (92606/92609) on the same day?
According to Medicare and Medicaid’s National Correct Coding Initiative (NCCI), which many other payers also follow, the codes may be billed together on the same day—but your documentation must demonstrate that you are providing two distinct and separate services.
If you are billing for SGD-related services (CPT 92609), you would list 92609 on the first line of the form and then 92507 with a -59 modifier to indicate that they are distinct services. No such modifier is needed when billing 92607 for non-SGD services on the same day as 92507.

Although Medicare does not cover the cost of the tablet itself because it is not a dedicated device, you may bill for services associated with its use as an SGD.

What if I have a patient who uses a tablet or other mobile technology as an AAC device? Can I still use the CPT codes related to services for AAC devices?
Generally, you can. For example, although Medicare does not cover the cost of the tablet itself because it is not a dedicated device, you may bill for services associated with its use as an SGD, including ongoing treatment. Medicaid and other third-party payers may allow this as well, and some plans may even cover the cost of the tablet itself. Always check for specific coverage guidelines before billing.
For help with coding and reimbursement questions, email reimbursement@asha.org.
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February 2017
Volume 22, Issue 2