Home → VA Prosthetics → VA Handbook 1173.2 - Furnishing Prosthetic Appliances and Services → Repairs to Appliances
2.4. Repairs to Appliances
(1) All parts procured or fabricated to replace existing parts or to modify a previously issued appliance will be considered as "repairs," regardless of whether installation is performed by a commercial source, a VA facility, or the beneficiary.
(2) Repairs will be obtained by use of either VA Form 10-2501, Prosthetic Service Card (PSC) or VA Form 10-2421, Prosthetic Authorization for Items or Services, or Purchase cards, whichever is most appropriate under the circumstances.
(3) PSCs shall be provided by all prosthetic programs at field facilities.
(4) Equipment repairs and services which may be authorized under the authority of PSCs include artificial limbs, aids for the blind and veterinary services for guide dogs, orthopedic braces, and wheelchairs.
(5) PSCs are limited to the following amounts:
(a) Blind aids and/or braces $100
(b) Wheelchairs $200
(c) Artificial limbs $300
(6) Invoices for repairs or veterinary treatment obtained under the authority of a PSC will be submitted to and paid for by the Prosthetic Service with Primary Service Area (PSA) responsibility where the veteran resides.
(7) When eligible beneficiaries requiring repairs to authorized appliances do not possess a PSC, prior approval for repairs must be given by the Prosthetic Representative, or designee, before payment of repairs can be made. NOTE: Exceptions to this policy are found in "Procedures for usage of PSC."
(1) Prosthetic representatives, or designated officials, are responsible for the overall administration of the PSCs, to include receiving and processing all PSC invoices submitted by vendors for repairs to appliances. Training will be provided to all subordinate staff with reference to what types of repairs are appropriate or acceptable cost limits that may be authorized on beneficiary appliances.
(2) Vendors are responsible for ensuring that the appliance being repaired is described on the PSC and for obtaining a Form Letter (FL) 10-55, Authority to Exceed Repair Costs of Prosthetic Appliance, when repairs exceed the authorized limitations of the card.
(3) Veterans are responsible for safeguarding their PSC, using it only for the identified appliance(s) and for updating as required. Veterans should take care to ensure that they do not sign a "blank" invoice, and to verify that the charges on the invoice are for services received.
a. After determination of eligibility and review to assure that the beneficiary has no previously issued card, VA Form 10-2501 will be prepared.
(1) When an initial PSC is prepared, the date of preparation will be entered in the box "Date Card Issued"; subsequent cards will reflect this same initial date. "PSC/Entitlement Records" option in the VISTA Prosthetic software will be exercised to collect the data necessary for paying invoices.
(2) Beneficiaries with more than one type appliance for which a PSC is authorized will be furnished a separate PSC for each appliance.
(2) Limits for PSC Benefits
(a) Artificial Limbs. The price limitation of $300 will be entered in the appropriate space. The level of amputation, specification of left or right, of serviceable artificial limbs in the patient's possession, with the year of issue, will be entered in the description area for each amputation.
(b) Aids for the Blind. The price limitation of $100 will be entered in the appropriate space. The make, model, and serial number of each of the major aids in the patient's possession will be listed. When a dog guide is used, the breed and dog's name; e.g., "German Shepherd," "Fido," will be entered as one item and the harness as another.
(c) Orthopedic Braces. The price limitation of $100.00 will be entered in the appropriate space. The type of brace, specification of left, right, cervical spine, torso, etc., of serviceable orthopedic braces in the patient's possession, with the year of issue, will be entered in the description area.
(d) Wheelchairs. The price limitation of $200.00 will be entered. The make, model, and serial number of the authorized wheelchair(s) in the patient's possession, with the year of issue will be entered in the description area.
(3) Preparation and Issuance by Mail
(a) When a new or replacement PSC is requested by mail, and the personal information is not available, FL 10-216, Instructions for Issuance of New Prosthetic Service Card, will be developed through the VISTA Prosthetic software and mailed to the patient with a blank PSC and a return envelope.
(b) On return of FL 10-216, the signed PSC and the old card or statement confirming loss or destruction, the revised PSC will be processed and sent to the patient with FL 10-215, Prosthetic Service card instructions (Selected). The veteran's VA Form 10-2319 (ADP) will be annotated to reflect the issuance of the PSC.
(c) When preparing FL 10-215, the appropriate box explaining the reason for furnishing the PSC will be checked. If the PSC is replaced because of the issuance of a different appliance, the box requesting the destruction of the existing card will also be checked.
(d) When the personal information is available, the PSC will be processed and sent to the patient with a return receipt. Screen 6 of the VA Form 10-2319 (ADP) will be annotated to reflect the name of the signatory on the returned receipt.
(e) The patient will verify the information and sign the PSC in ink in the appropriate box. The PSC with FL 10-216 will be given to the veteran.
(4) PSC Invoices
(a) Upon the receipt of VA Form 10-2520, PSC Invoice, a purchase card obligation will be processed for the amount of the invoice using the control point assigned to repairs. In the event that it exceeds the PSC limitations, FL 10-55 will be employed.
(b) Every effort should be made to ensure that repairs that exceed the limitations of the appropriate PSC are authorized before the card limit is exceeded. There will be cases where the limit is inadvertently exceeded before proper authorization is given; however, this is unacceptable after more than one occurrence following documented notification from the repair source of the proper process. In such subsequent cases, only the card limit for the repairs will be paid, and a copy of the invoice will be returned with the balance marked as "unauthorized repair."
(c) The preparation of two separate invoices to cover a repair exceeding established PSC limits will not be approved for payment; invoices will be prepared only for each incident of repair to appliances.
(5) Preparation and Processing of Invoices
(a) After repairs have been accomplished, the vendor will prepare invoices as illustrated on the reverse side of the PSC. VA Form 10-2520 may be used and will be furnished to vendors by the authorizing VA field facility on request. Verification will be required, to the best of the patient's ability, of the repair information and charges listed on the invoice to ascertain that the total charges have been typed or entered in ink or indelible pencil in the appropriate space on the invoice, and to sign the original only of the invoice, using the same signature as that on the PSC. Under no circumstances should the patient ever sign a blank PSC invoice. Verifiable indications of such occurrence may result in cancellation of the abusing beneficiary's PSC.
(b) The vendor will forward the original invoice and one copy, and the original FL 10-55, if applicable, to the VA field facility indicated on the PSC.
(c) On receipt of such invoices, the following actions will be taken:
1. The invoice will be entered into the Prosthetic VISTA software "suspense" option identifying the invoice amount and vendor.
2. The description of the appliance repaired and the issuance of a PSC will be checked against the information posted on the VA Form 10-2319 (ADP). Repair invoices for artificial limbs, aids for the blind, and braces should be compared to delivery dates; wheelchairs should be compared by serial numbers.
(6) Other Authorized PSC Repairs
(a) Price Limitations. Price limitations have been established for each appliance for which PSC repairs have been authorized. These are clearly defined on each PSC and may not be exceeded except in the following circumstances:
1. If a PSC is presented to a VA Orthotic Laboratory, any necessary repairs will be made without further authority, provided facilities and necessary parts or supplies are available, and the cost of the repairs do not exceed 50 percent of the cost of a replacement item. If the cost exceeds 50 percent, the Prosthetic representative with PSA responsibility over the veteran's treatment will be contacted for authorization to repair or replace the device.
2. On presentation of a PSC at any VA field facility with medical activities, the patient will be entitled to all required prosthetic services in connection with the appliances listed on the card, as well as to other appliances or accessories obviously required because of the condition for which the card was issued.
3. Major repairs to appliances in excess of the limitation listed on the PSC, or emergency replacement of such an item if medically indicated, will be provided without the necessity for prior eligibility certification from the field facility exercising jurisdiction over the veteran's case. Requests for prosthetic services under such circumstances will be processed as follows:
a. The patient will be immediately referred to an appropriate physician (if necessary) for examination and medical determination of need for the requested major repair or replacement.
b. If authorized, the Prosthetic representative, or designee, will make all necessary arrangements, in accordance with existing policies and procedures, to obtain immediate repairs or replacement. NOTE: Such cases will be processed as emergencies and every effort will be made to expedite service to the patient.
c. The field facility authorizing and procuring repairs or replacement appliances will be obligated for payment of all costs incurred, except for costs of any repairs obtained under direct authority of the PSC.
d. When any device is in the process of being repaired by a commercial vendor under the authority of a PSC, and it is found that more extensive repairs are absolutely essential to restore the device to serviceable condition, the vendor should immediately contact the Prosthetic representative of the field facility listed on the card. A full explanation of the situation and the total estimated cost for the repairs will be obtained from the vendor. A determination will then be made as to what action is to be taken in the case. If it is agreed that the repairs are necessary and economically feasible, FL 10-55 will be prepared by the Prosthetic activity.
e. If the quoted cost appears to be excessive for any reason and no emergency exists, the device (preferably with the patient) will be referred to the Prosthetic Service for clinical evaluation and possible replacement. If the need is emergent, minimal repairs will be authorized and the patient will be scheduled for examination.
f. If all of the conditions of preceding subparagraph 4c(6)(d)c. are met, but the Prosthetics representative cannot be contacted during non-office hours and prosthetic repairs must be accomplished in order to ambulate the patient, the minimum, absolutely essential repairs may be performed on the prerogative of both the patient and the vendor. However, the Prosthetic representative will be contacted by the vendor at the earliest opportunity and a complete explanation submitted. The invoices will then be processed on receipt.
(b) In using VA Form 10-2501, a terminal device may be repaired as part of an artificial arm.
(7) Revoked or Cancelled PSC. A beneficiary's PSC will be cancelled or revoked if:
(a) There is an adjudication rating action resulting in lack of eligibility for a beneficiary for the appliance or repairs thereto.
(b) There is a medical determination that there is no further need for the appliance.
(c) There is flagrant abuse of the benefits of the PSC, e.g., signing blank invoices, using the card for unauthorized purchases more than twice, etc.
1. When a determination to cancel has been made, immediate steps will be taken by the Prosthetic representative to re-possess the PSC. Such action will include informing the patient, in writing, of the reasons for the action, including the statement that continued use of the card to obtain repairs will be considered as a fraudulent act. Revocation letters forwarded for abuse or lack of cooperation will be sent via registered mail and contain a statement that the patient will obtain prior authority from the local facility of jurisdiction for all future repair services. This letter will be developed through the Prosthetic VISTA software "correspondence menu" to ensure inclusion and ready review on VA Form 10-2319 (ADP).
2. If the patient does not surrender the card, and does not submit a letter explaining the circumstances within 45 days of receipt of certified correspondence, VA Form 10-2319 (ADP) will be prominently annotated through the "critical comment" screen #6 to suspend payment of all subsequent invoices charged to the card. An investigation under the auspices of the District Counsel may be required when there is a dispute between the Prosthetic representative and the billing vendor over legitimate billing.
(8) Repairs VA Form 10-2421, Prosthetic Authorization for Items or Services. In the absence of a PSC or use of PSC, VA Form 10-2421 will be used to obtain repair or replacement parts for any appliances for eligible beneficiaries [qualifying under Pub. L. 104-262]. Service may be authorized up to one-half the replacement value of the item. These forms will be processed in the usual manner.
(9) Centralized Hearing Aids Repair Program
(a) A national centralized program for processing hearing aids for repair is established at the Denver Distribution Center (DDC), Denver, CO. Except for local emergency repairs, all hearing aids in possession of veterans will be processed for repair through this centralized system.
(b) Personally purchased hearing aids may be included in the centralized program upon approval of the Audiology and Speech Pathology Service (ASPS) with PSA responsibility where the veteran resides and detailed notification to the DDC. ASPS will input data through the Remote Order Entry System.
(c) On receipt of notification indicating the issuance of a hearing aid to a veteran not already participating in the program, the DDC will forward a mailing carton and instructions to facilitate repairs of the aid.
(d) The Prosthetic Service with PSA responsibility where the veteran resides will authorize and pay for appropriate local emergency repairs to hearing aids when repair by DDC is not feasible.
(e) VA facilities requiring repairs to hearing aids for long-term non service-connected patients may forward such aids to the DDC. VA Form 10-2529-3, Request and Receipt for Prosthetic Appliances or Services, should be prepared by the Prosthetic Service with PSA responsibility in the usual manner and clearly annotated to identify the hearing aid by manufacturer, model number and serial number.
(f) All costs for repairs of hearing aids by the DDC will be charged to the Prosthetic Service with PSA responsibility where veteran resides. Procedures for processing emergent repairs by VA field facilities will be established at the local level.