Do you know your K Level?
A K-level is how Medicare classifies your functional level of an amputee.
Determining your K-Level
Your insurance company will need the input of your doctor to fully determine your K-level. This chart is meant to be used to understand the general guidelines used in the detailed and often lengthy insurance approval process. Collier team members are persistent and knowledgeable during this important part of the process and will keep you informed along the way.
The patient does not have the ability or potential to ambulate or transfer safely with or without assistance and a prosthesis does not enhance their quality of life or mobility.
K1 – Functional Level 1
The patient has the ability or potential to use a prosthesis for transfer or ambulation on level surfaces at fixed cadence.
K2 – Functional Level 2
The patient has the ability or potential for ambulation with the ability to traverse low-level environmental barriers such as curbs, stairs or uneven surfaces. Typical of the limited community ambulator.
K3 – Functional Level 3
The patient has the ability or potential for ambulation with variable cadence. Typical of the community ambulator who has the ability to navigate most environmental barriers and may have vocational, therapeutic or exercise activity that demands prosthetic utilisation beyond simple locomotion.
K4 – Functional Level 4
The patient has the ability or potential for prosthetic ambulation that exceeds basic ambulation skills, exhibiting high impact, stress or energy levels. Typical of the prosthetic demands of the child, active adult, or athlete.
K-levels are how Medicare bases an individual’s ability or potential to ambulate and navigate their environment. Once your K-level is determined, then we can know which prosthetic components are covered by Medicare.
If you are interested in some of the research and more technical details about K-Levels, check this page on the International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation website.