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TENS Treatment Excluded for Lower Back Pain: HNFS Authorizations

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

As of June 1, 2020, TRICARE no longer covers transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for the treatment of acute, subacute and chronic low back pain. Health Net Federal Services, LLC (HNFS) is adjusting open authorizations for TENS for low back pain to reflect a May 31, 2020 end date. We expect this work to complete in the coming weeks. HNFS will issue updated authorization letters once our system updates are complete. Providers and beneficiaries can also log in online to use our Authorization Status tool to view authorization details and download determination letters.  

Per TRICARE policy, as of June 1, 2020, TENS for low back pain are no longer covered, regardless of any approved, active authorization HNFS may have issued before the June 1, 2020 effective date of exclusion.

In addition to the device, the following also will not be covered:

  • Supplies for TENS units prescribed for low back pain
  • Physical therapy visits, where the sole treatment provided is TENS for low back pain
  • Charges for TENS treatment for low back pain that is performed during an otherwise-covered physical therapy visit

For complete benefit details, visit our Benefits A–Z page.