HI 00620.100 Personal Comfort Items
Items which do not contribute meaningfully to the treatment of an illness or injury or the functioning of a malformed body members are not covered.
Charges for special items requested by the patient such as radio, television, telephone, air conditioner, and beauty and barber services are excluded from coverage. The patient may be charged for such services if he has requested them with knowledge that he will be charged. To avoid misunderstandings and disputes, the provider will inform the individual when he requests such an item or service that there will be a specified charge (not exceeding the customary charge). Thereafter, the provider may not charge the patient more for the item or service than the charge specified. A provider may not require a beneficiary to request noncovered items or services as a condition of admission or of continued stay.
Basic personal services such as simple barber and beautician services (e.g., shaves, haircuts, shampoos, and simple hair sets) which patients need and cannot perform for themselves may be viewed as ordinary patient care when furnished by a long stay institution. Such services are covered costs reimbursable under Part A when included in the flat rate charge and provided routinely without charge to the patient by an SNF or by a psychiatric or tuberculosis hospital. However, under the personal comfort exclusion, more elaborate services, such as professional manicures, hair styling, etc., are excluded even when furnished routinely and without special charge.