Orthopedic Footwear - CAM 1107HB

This document addresses orthopedic footwear including shoes, inserts and modification to shoes for individuals who do not have diabetes.

Medically Necessary:
Shoes, inserts, and modifications are considered MEDICALLY NECESSARY only in the limited circumstances described below:

  1. Shoes are considered MEDICALLY NECESSARY if they are an integral part of a leg brace that is medically necessary.
  2. Heel replacements, sole replacements and shoe transfers involving shoes on a medically necessary leg brace are also considered MEDICALLY NECESSARY.
  3. Inserts and other shoe modifications (such as lifts, wedges, arch supports and other additions) are considered MEDICALLY NECESSARY if they are on a shoe that is an integral part of a medically necessary leg brace, if they are medically necessary for the proper functioning of the brace.
  4. Prosthetic shoes are considered MEDICALLY NECESSARY if they are an integral part of a prosthesis for individuals with a partial foot amputation.

Not Medically Necessary:

Orthopedic footwear that does not meet the criteria above is considered NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY.

A matching shoe that is not attached to a brace and items related to that shoe are considered NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY.

Shoes are considered NOT MEDICALLY NECESSARY when they are put on over partial foot prosthesis or other lower extremity prosthesis that is attached to the residual limb by mechanisms other than being an integral part of the prosthesis.

Orthopedic footwear including shoes, inserts and modifications to shoes are utilized for the alignment, support, prevention, or correction of deformities or to improve the function of movable parts of the body. Orthotics includes braces which are used to support a weak joint or joints.

The medical necessity of orthopedic footwear including shoes, inserts and modification to shoes for individuals who do not have diabetes is based on the evaluation of the individual’s needs and capabilities in relation to the following definition of medical necessity (CGS, 2020).

The orthopedic footwear is reasonable and necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of an illness or injury or to improve the functioning of a malformed body member.
This document is based on peer-reviewed published literature and Medicare criteria.

There is currently no available evidence addressing medical indications for footwear, inserts, and modifications that are not intended to address the alignment, support, prevention, or correction of deformities, or to improve the function of movable parts of the body. This includes shoes not attached to a brace or shoes when put on over partial foot or other lower extremity prosthesis.


  1. Janisse DJ, Janisse E. Shoe modification and the use of orthoses in the treatment of foot and ankle pathology. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2008; 16(3):152-158.
  2. McDermott P, Wolfe E, Lowry C, et al. Evaluating the immediate effects of wearing foot orthotics in children with joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) by analysis of tempero-spatial parameters of gait and dynamic balance: A preliminary study. Gait Posture. 2018; 60:61-64.
  3. Prenton S, Hollands KL, Kenney LP. Functional electrical stimulation versus ankle foot orthoses for foot drop: a meta-analysis of orthotic effects. J Rehabil Med. 2016; 48:646-656.
  4. Prenton S, Hollands KL, Kenney LP, et al. Functional electrical stimulation and ankle foot orthoses provide equivalent therapeutic effects on foot drop: A meta-analysis providing direction for future research. J Rehabil Med. 2018; 50(2):129-139.
  5. Rasenberg N, Riel H, Rathleff MS, et al. Efficacy of foot orthoses for the treatment of plantar heel pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018; 52(16):1040-1046.
  6. Reichenbach S, Felson DT, Hincapié CA, et al. Effect of biomechanical footwear on knee pain in people with knee osteoarthritis: The BIOTOK randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2020; 323(18):1802-1812.
  7. Whittaker GA, Munteanu SE, Menz HB, et al. Foot orthoses for plantar heel pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2018; 52(5):322-328.
  8. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). National Coverage Determination: Durable medical equipment reference list. NCD #280.1. Effective May 5, 2005. Available at: https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/ncd.aspx?ncdid=190&ncdver=2&keyword=Durable%20medical%20equipment%20reference%20 list&keywordType=starts&areaId=all&docType=NCA,CAL,NCD,MEDCAC,TA,MCD,6,3,5,1,F,P&contractOption=all&sortBy=relevance&bc=1. Accessed on April 27, 2023.
  9. CGS Administrators, LLC. Jurisdictions B and C. Local Coverage Determination for Orthopedic Footwear (L33641). Revised 01/01/2020. Available at: https://www.cms.gov/medicare-coverage-database/view/lcd.aspx?lcdid=33641&ver=21&keyword=Orthopedic%20Footwear&keywordType=starts&areaId=all&docType=NCA,CAL,NCD, MEDCAC,TA,MCD,6,3,5,1,F,P&contractOption=all&sortBy=relevance&bc=1. Accessed on April 27, 2023.

Coding Section
The following codes for treatments and procedures applicable to this document are included below for informational purposes. Inclusion or exclusion of a procedure, diagnosis or device code(s) does not constitute or imply member coverage or provider reimbursement policy. Please refer to the member's contract benefits in effect at the time of service to determine coverage or non-coverage of these services as it applies to an individual member.

When services may be Medically Necessary when criteria are met:






Foot insert, removable, molded to patient model [includes codes L3000, L3001, L3002, L3003, L3010, L3020, L3030, L3031]



Foot, arch supports, removable, premolded [includes codes L3040, L3050, L3060]



Foot, arch supports, non-removable, attached to shoe [includes codes L3070, L3080, L3090]



Foot, adjustable shoe-styled positioning device



Foot, plastic, silicone or equal, heel stabilizer, prefabricated, off-the-shelf, each



Orthopedic footwear, used as an integral part of a brace (orthosis)



Orthopedic footwear, custom shoe, depth inlay, each



Orthopedic footwear, custom molded shoe, removable inner mold, prosthetic shoe, each



Foot, shoe molded to patient model; silicone shoe, each



Foot, shoe molded to patient model; Plastazote (or similar), custom fabricated, each



Foot, molded shoe Plastazote (or similar) custom fitted, each



Non-standard size or width



Non-standard size or length



Orthopedic footwear, additional charge for split size



Plastazote sandal, each



Lifts [includes codes L3300, L3310, L3320, L3330, L3332, L3334]



Heel wedges [includes codes L3340, L3350]



Sole wedges [includes codes L3360, L3370]



Outflare wedge



Metatarsal bar wedges [includes codes L3400, L3410]



Full sole and heel wedge, between sole



Heels [includes codes L3430, L3440, L3450, L3455, L3460, L3465, L3470, L3480, L3485]



Orthopedic shoe additions [includes codes L3500, L3510, L3520, L3530, L3540, L3550, L3560, L3570, L3580, L3590, L3595]



Transfer of an orthosis from one shoe to another [includes codes L3600, L3610, L3620, L3630]

ICD-10 Diagnosis


All diagnoses

When services are Not Medically Necessary:
For the procedure codes listed above when criteria are not met or for situations designated in the Clinical Indications section as not medically necessary.


Orthopedic Footwear

History From 2024 Forward 

01/01/2024 NEW POLICY

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