K-levels are defined by Medicare based on an individual’s ability or potential to ambulate and navigate their environment. Once it is determined in which K-level an individual resides, it can be determined which prosthetic components are covered by Medicare.
K0 This 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 This patient has the ability or potential to use a prosthesis for transfers or ambulation on level surfaces at fixed cadence.
K2 This patient has the ability or potential for ambulation with the ability to traverse low-level environmental barriers such as curbs, stairs, or uneven surfaces.
K3 The patient has the ability or potential for ambulation with variable cadence – a typical community ambulator with the ability to traverse most environmental barriers and may have vocational, herapeutic, or exercise activity that demands prosthetic use beyond simple locomotion.
K4 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.