Back to Top Skip to main content

Health.mil: the official website of the Military Health System (MHS) and the Defense Health Agency (DHA)

Utility Navigation Links

TRICARE Policy Manual 6010.63-M, April 2021
Surgery
Chapter 4
Section 24.3
Combined Heart-Kidney Transplantation (CHKT)
Issue Date:  May 7, 1999
Authority:  32 CFR 199.4(e)(5)
Revision:  
1.0  POLICY
1.1  CHKT is a TRICARE benefit that requires preauthorization.
1.1.1  A TRICARE Prime enrollee must have a referral from their Primary Care Manager (PCM) and an authorization from the contractor before obtaining transplant-related services. If network providers furnish transplant-related services without prior PCM referral and contractor authorization, penalties will be administered according to TRICARE network provider agreements.
1.1.2  The contractor shall reimburse charges for the services on a Point of Service (POS) basis, if TRICARE Prime enrollees receive transplant-related services from non-network civilian providers without the required PCM referral and contractor authorization. Special cost-sharing requirements apply to Point of Service (POS) claims.
1.1.3  The contractor shall be the preauthorization authority for non-enrolled TRICARE beneficiaries residing in its geographic area of responsibility.
1.2  The designated preauthorizing authority shall only use the criteria contained in this policy when preauthorizing simultaneous heart-kidney transplantation.
1.3  CHKT is covered when the transplantation is performed at a center certified by TRICARE or Medicare for heart transplantation or TRICARE-certified pediatric consortium heart transplantation center and Medicare-approved for renal transplantation, for patients who:
1.3.1  Are suffering from end stage heart disease and irreversible or end stage renal disease; and
1.3.2  Have exhausted more conservative medical and surgical treatments.
1.3.3  Have a realistic understanding of the range of clinical outcomes that may be encountered.
1.3.4  Plans for long-term adherence to a disciplined medical regimen are feasible and realistic.
1.4  Services and supplies related to CHKT are covered for:
1.4.1  Evaluation of a potential candidate’s suitability for transplantation whether or not the patient is ultimately accepted as a candidate for transplantation.
1.4.2  Pre- and post-transplantation inpatient hospital and outpatient services.
1.4.3  Surgical services and related pre- and postoperative services of the transplantation team.
1.4.4  The donor acquisition team, including the costs of transportation to the location of the donor organ and transportation of the team and the donated organ to the location of the transplantation center.
1.4.5  The maintenance of the viability of the donor organ after all existing legal requirements for excision of the donor organ have been met.
1.4.6  Donor costs.
1.4.7  Blood and blood products.
1.4.8  United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved immunosuppression drugs to include off-label uses when determined to be medically necessary and generally accepted practice within the general medical community (i.e., proven).
1.4.9  Complications of the transplantation procedure, including inpatient care, management of infection and rejection episodes.
1.4.10  Periodic evaluation and assessment of the successfully transplanted patient.
1.4.11  Hepatitis B and pneumococcal vaccines for patients undergoing transplantation are covered under TRICARE.
1.4.12  Deoxyribonucleic Acid-Human Leucocyte Antigen (DNA-HLA) tissue typing in determining histocompatibility are covered under TRICARE.
1.4.13  Transportation of the patient by air ambulance and the services of a certified life support attendant.
1.4.14  AlloMap® molecular expression testing for cardiac transplant rejection surveillance.
2.0  POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
2.1  For beneficiaries who fail to obtain preauthorization for CHKT, TRICARE benefits may be extended if the services or supplies otherwise would qualify for coverage but for the failure to obtain preauthorization. If preauthorization is not received, the appropriate preauthorizing authority as outlined in paragraph 1.1, is responsible for reviewing the claims to determine whether the beneficiary’s condition meets the clinical criteria for the CHKT benefit. Charges for transplant and transplant-related services provided to TRICARE Prime enrollees who failed to obtain PCM referral and contractor authorization will be reimbursed only under POS rules.
2.2  Benefits will only be allowed for transplants performed at a center that is TRICARE or Medicare-certified for heart transplantation and Medicare-approved for renal transplantation. Benefits are also allowed for transplants performed at a pediatric facility that is TRICARE-certified as a heart transplantation center on the basis that the center belongs to a pediatric consortium program whose combined experience and survival data meet the TRICARE criteria for certification. The contractor is the certifying authority for transplant centers within its geographic area of responsibility. Refer to Chapter 11, Section 7.1 for organ transplant center certification requirements.
2.3  Effective August 1, 2003, CHKTs shall be paid under the assigned DRG based on the patient’s diagnosis. Claims for admissions prior to August 1, 2003 shall be reimbursed based on billed charges.
2.4  Claims for transportation of the donor organ and transplantation team shall be adjudicated on the basis of billed charges, but not to exceed the transport service’s published schedule of charges, and cost-shared on an inpatient basis. Scheduled or chartered transportation may be cost-shared.
2.5  Charges made by the donor hospital will be cost-shared on an inpatient basis and must be fully itemized and billed by the transplantation center in the name of the TRICARE patient.
2.6  Acquisition and donor costs are not considered to be components of the services covered under the DRG and will be reimbursed based on billed charges. These costs must be billed separately on a standard Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 1450 UB-04 claim form in the name of the TRICARE patient.
2.7  When a properly preauthorized candidate is discharged less than 24 hours after admission because of extenuating circumstances, such as the available organ is found not suitable or other circumstances which prohibit the transplant from being timely performed, all otherwise authorized services associated with the admission shall be cost-shared on an inpatient basis, since the expectation at admission was that the patient would remain more than 24 hours.
2.8  Combined heart-kidney transplants performed on an emergency basis in an unauthorized renal and heart transplant facility may be cost-shared by TRICARE only when the following conditions have been met:
2.8.1  The unauthorized center must consult with the nearest center that is TRICARE or Medicare-certified for heart transplantation and Medicare-approved for renal transplantation regarding the transplantation case; and
2.8.2  It must be determined and documented by the transplant team physician(s) at the center that is TRICARE or Medicare certified for heart transplantation and Medicare-approved for renal transplantation that transfer of the patient (to a center that is TRICARE or Medicare-certified for heart transplantation and Medicare-approved for renal transplantation) is not medically reasonable, even though transplantation is feasible and appropriate.
3.0  EXCLUSIONS
3.1  CHKT is excluded when any of the following contraindications exist:
3.1.1  Severe pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary vascular resistance above 5 Wood units or pulmonary artery systolic pressure over 65 mm Hg) not reversible with intravenous agents.
3.1.2  Active infection.
3.1.3  Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) positivity.
3.1.4  Active alcohol or other substance abuse including current use of tobacco (verified abstinence for six months is mandatory).
3.1.5  Active malignant disease.
3.1.6  Hepatic dysfunction not explained by the underlying heart failure and not deemed reversible.
3.1.7  Symptomatic or asymptomatic cerebrovascular disease.
3.1.8  Systemic hypertension, either at transplantation or prior to development of end stage cardiac disease, that is not controlled, even with multi-drug therapy.
3.1.9  History of noncompliance or psychiatric illness of such magnitude as to jeopardize postoperative compliance.
3.1.10  Recent and unresolved pulmonary infarction or undiagnosed pulmonary nodules.
3.1.11  Any chronic systemic illness that will limit or preclude survival and rehabilitation after transplantation.
3.1.12  Current or recent history of diverticulitis or current peptic ulcer disease require evaluation by a gastroenterology specialist prior to determining candidacy.
3.2  Expenses waived by the transplantation center (e.g., beneficiary/sponsor not financially liable).
3.3  Services and supplies not provided in accordance with applicable program criteria (i.e., part of a grant or research program; unproven procedure).
3.4  Administration of an unproven immunosuppressant drug that is not FDA approved or has not received TRICARE approval as an appropriate “off-label” drug indication.
3.5  Pre- or post-transplantation nonmedical expenses (e.g., out-of-hospital living expenses, to include hotel, meals, privately owned vehicle for the beneficiary or family members).
3.6  Transportation of an organ donor.
4.0  EFFECTIVE DATES
4.1  March 27, 1997.
4.2  February 19, 2015, AlloMap® molecular expression testing for cardiac transplant rejection surveillance.
- END -

Utility Navigation Links

DoD Seal

tricare.mil is the official website of the Defense Health Agency (DHA) a component of the Military Health System

TRICARE is a registered trademark of the Department of Defense (DoD), DHA. All rights reserved.

CPT only © 2006 American Medical Association (or such other date of publication of CPT). All Rights Reserved.

If you have a question regarding TRICARE benefits, please go to the TRICARE Contact Us page page.
If you need help with technical/operational issues, please go to the TRICARE Manuals Online Frequently Asked Questions page.

The appearance of hyperlinks to external websites does not constitute endorsement by the DHA of these websites or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized government activities, the DHA does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at other locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

v4.8.7983.18738

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.