ABN – Advanced Beneficiary Notice, document to be signed by a patient that does not qualify for Medicare coverage of an item but still wants to proceed with purchase and pay on their own. Medicare may or may not pay for the item.

acquired lymphedema – Secondary lymphedema

acute infection – Severe, serious infection

adjustable – Flexible

allowable – maximum amount insurance company will pay for an item


bilateral – involving right and left sides of the body

blood clots – coagulated blood, thickened blood


calibrated – to check and compare with a standard

cell – refers to each compartment on the appliance

cellulitis – skin infection characterized by redness, swelling, fever

CHF – congestive heart failure

chronic – continuously present

chronic venous insufficiency – veins that are damaged and do not efficiently return blood to the heart causing

circumferential measurement – refers to measurement around the limb or other part of the body (circumference)

clinical – regarding treatment of patients, observation of patients

Clinical study – a type of research that collects data on new treatment methods to determine how well they work

CMN – Certificate of Medical Necessity, form required by Medicare and other insurance carriers to substantiate need of products or services

compression – applying pressure

compression garments – stockings worn to compress the limbs and control lymphedema

compressor – pump that delivers air pressure

congenital – present at birth

congenital lymphedema – lymphedema present at birth resulting from malformation of lymphatic system

congestive heart failure – (CHF) heart becomes inefficient and cannot deliver adequate blood supply to rest of body

contraindications – certain conditions that make treatment inadvisable

CPT codes – Current Procedure Terminology


date of service – date product was purchased

decompensated cardiac failure – heart failure

deductible – amount patient pays before insurance will pay

deep vein thrombosis – blood clot typically found deep in the vein of thigh or calf

dermatitis – inflammation of the skin characterized by dry, flaky, itch

diagnosis – identify disease or condition by signs or symptoms

distal – furthest from the trunk of the body

doppler – ultrasound that can detect and measure blood flow

durable medical equipment – medical equipment frequently used in the home, can withstand repeated use


E0651 – Medicare code for pneumatic compression pumps without calibrated gradient pressure

E0652 – Medicare code for pneumatic compression pumps with calibrated gradient pressure

edema – swelling caused by excess fluid in tissues

edematous – swollen from excess fluid

EOB – Explanation of Benefits, referring to insurance claim – details of payment

exhausts – to empty completely, to let out all of the air

extremity – limb on the body – arm or leg


fibrosis – excess connective tissue

fibrotic tissue – scar tissue, tightening of the skin which may be disfiguring


gradient – progressively increasing or decreasing


HCPCS – Health Care Financing Administration’s Common Procedure Coding System

hereditary – extending to run in families

HIPAA – Health Information Portability and Accountability Act

hose assembly – tubing that attaches the appliance to the pump and allows the air to flow through


ICD-9 codes – International Classification of Disease -9th revision

ideopathic lymphedema – lymphedema of unknown origin

indications – proper treatments of disease

intermittent – not continuous, starting and stopping at intervals

interstitial fluid – fluid between tissue cells, outside blood vessels

interstitial space – space between tissue cells, outside blood vessels


Joint Commission – accrediting organization for health care industry


Klippel-Tranaunay Syndrome – a rare, congenital form of lymphedema


limb – extremity of the body – arm or leg

LMN – Letter of Medical Necessity

lymph – fluid found in lymphatic vessels

lymphatic drainage – type of massage therapy to stimulate movement of lymph fluid

lymph nodes – masses of lymphatic tissue that filter fluid and can trap cancer cells and bacteria

lymphatic – pertaining to lymph

lymphedema – swelling due to blockage in lymphatic system, causing accumulation of fluid – most commonly in arms and legs

lymphedema praecox – onset of lymphedema at puberty, a form of primary lymphedema

lymphedema tarda – adult onset lymphedema, a form of primary lymphedema


malignant tumor – tumor that becomes progressively worse and tends to spread to surrounding tissue

manual lymph drainage – type of therapy using a massage technique to help lymph fluid return to circulatory system

massage – to rub or knead the body

Medicare Standards – rules of conduct all suppliers must follow in order to provide to Medicare patients

Meige’s disease – primary lymphedema usually starting around puberty

Milroy’s Syndrome – hereditary lymphedema affecting the legs

morbid obesity – weighing more than 100lbs. more than ideal body weight significantly increasing risk of certain health conditions




Park-Weber Syndrome – congenital form of lymphedema

Phlebitis – inflammation of a vein

Pitting edema – edema demonstrated by applying pressure to skin that leaves an indentation

pneumatic – powered by compressed air

post-mastectomy – following surgical removal of breast

primary lymphedema – inherited lymphedema

protocol – guidelines for treatment

proximal – nearest to the trunk of the body



renal failure – inability of kidneys to function properly or efficiently


secondary lymphedema – caused by injury, trauma, surgical damage

segmental – divided into segments

sequential – in sequence, consecutive

skin contractures – abnormal tightening of skin tissue that prevents normal movement and may cause deformity

stage 1 lymphedema – mild swelling, skin is still soft to the touch

stage 2 lymphedema – lymphedema with edema and fibrosis of tissues – no longer soft

stage 3 lymphedema – severe lymphedema characterized by major increase in swelling, extensive fibrosis


thrombophlebitis – blood clot in vein causing pain and swelling in area

thrombosis – blood clot


ulcer – open wound that has trouble healing or keeps recurring

Unna’s Boot – treatment modality used for leg ulcers – type of bandage with a wound dressing


Vascular – containing vessels that carry or circulate fluid through body

vein – vessel that carries blood

venous insufficiency – valves in veins do not properly return blood from legs to the heart

venous stasis ulcers – open wounds that do not heal that typically occur below the knee


Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act – federal law enacted in 1998 that mandates all insurance companies to cover physical complications from a mastectomy

wounds – injury

wraps – treatment that involves wrapping bandages around the limb to encourage return of lymph fluid to the rest of the body