Cryotherapy and Compression Devices for Home Use

Coverage decision: Not covered

Cryotherapy and compression devices, such as Game Ready™ system, are considered personal appliances and are not authorized per WAC 296-20-1102.

Game Ready™ system and other similar devices are used to reduce pain and swelling after knee or shoulder surgery. The devices may pump cold water through a sleeve around the affected limb and provides intermittent compression by inflating and deflating the sleeve. The devices are classified by the Food and Drug Administration as a massager and cold water cooling system. These devices are not approved for marketing or use as a pneumatic compression device to treat or prevent deep vein thrombosis.

L&I does not cover Game Ready™ system or similar devices for home use because the evidence of effectiveness is insufficient and the evidence of cost-effectiveness is unfavorable compared to the standard of care: rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE). The coverage decision applies to other cooling devices with or without pneumatic compression, including but not limited to:

  • ArticFlow Cold Therapy System
  • AutoChill® system
  • Cryo/cuff™
  • Cryotherapy Cold Water Therapy System by Artic® Ice
  • Iceman Cold Therapy unit
  • OPTI-ICE™ Cold Therapy System
  • Polar Care Cub
  • Polar Care 500, Polar Care 300
  • Versa-Cool™ Portable Cold Therapy Unit
  • VitalWrap™ System

Billing codes

HCPCS codes: E0218 and E0236
Note: Cryotherapy and compression devices used in a clinical setting are not payable separately. These modalities are considered to be bundled into existing physical medicine services billable under CPT® 97010. HCPCS E1399 is not appropriate for use of cryotherapy and compression devices in any setting.

Technology assessment and references


Regulatory authority and related information


End of main content, page footer follows.

Access Washington official state portal

   © Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. Use of this site is subject to the laws of the state of Washington.

Help us improve