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Dynamic Posturography

Policy Number: MP-268

Latest Review Date: February 2020

Category:  Medicine                                                             

Policy Grade: C


Dynamic posturography to assess vestibular dysfunction is considered not medically necessary and investigational.


Dynamic posturography tests a patient’s balance control in situations intended to isolate factors that affect balance in everyday experiences. It provides quantitative information on the degree of imbalance present in an individual but is not intended to diagnosis specific types of balance disorders.

Balance Disorders

Complaints of imbalance are common in older adults and contribute to the risk of falling in this population. Falls are an important cause of death and disability in this population in the United States. Maintenance of balance is a complex physiologic process, requiring interaction of the vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive/somatosensory system, and central reflex mechanisms. Balance is also influenced by the general health of the patient (i.e., muscle tone, strength, range of motion). Therefore, identifying and treating the underlying balance disorder can be difficult. Commonly used balance function tests (e.g., electronystagmography, rotational chair tests) attempt to measure the extent and site of a vestibular lesion but do not assess the functional ability to maintain balance.

Role in Diagnosis

Dynamic posturography aims to provide more quantitative information regarding the functional ability for maintaining balance. The patient, wearing a harness to prevent falls, stands on an enclosed platform surrounded by a visual field. By altering the angle of the platform or shifting the visual field, the test assesses movement coordination and the sensory organization of visual, somatosensory, and vestibular information relevant to postural control. The patient undergoes six different testing situations designed to evaluate the vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive/somatosensory components of balance. In general terms, the test measures an individual’s balance (as measured by a force platform to calculate the movement of the patient’s center of mass) while visual and somatosensory cues are altered. These tests vary by whether the eyes are open or closed, whether the platform is fixed or sway-referenced, and whether the visual surround is fixed or sway-referenced. Sway referencing involves making instantaneous computer-aided alteration in the platform or visual surround to coincide with changes in body position produced by sway. The purpose of sway referencing is to cancel out accurate feedback from somatosensory or visual systems that are normally involved in maintaining balance. In the first three components of the test, the support surface is stable, and visual cues are either present, absent, or sway-referenced. In tests 4 to 6, the support surface is sway-referenced to the individual, and visual cues are either present, absent, or sway-referenced. In tests 5 and 6, the only accurate sensory cues that are available for balance are vestibular cues. Results of computerized dynamic posturography have been used to determine what type of information (i.e., visual, vestibular, proprioceptive) can and cannot be used to maintain balance. Dynamic posturography cannot be used to localize the site of a lesion.

Posturography tests a patient’s balance control in situations intended to isolate factors that affect balance in everyday experiences. Balance can be rapidly assessed qualitatively by asking the patient to maintain a steady stance on a flat or compressible surface (i.e., foam pads) with the eyes open or closed. By closing the eyes, the visual input into balance is eliminated. Use of foam pads eliminates the sensory and proprioceptive cues. Therefore, only vestibular input is available when standing on a foam pad with eyes closed.


The policy was updated regularly using the MEDLINE database through December 09, 2019.


For individuals with suspected balance disorders who receive dynamic posturography, the evidence includes cross-sectional comparisons of results in patients with balance disorders and healthy controls and retrospective case series reporting outcomes for patients assessed with dynamic posturography as part of clinical care. Relevant outcomes are test accuracy and validity, symptoms, and morbid events. There are no generally accepted reference standards for dynamic posturography, which makes it difficult to determine how testing results can be applied in clinical care. There are no studies demonstrating the clinical utility of the test that would lead to changes in management that improve outcomes (e.g., symptoms, function). The evidence is insufficient to determine the effects of the technology on health outcomes.


The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery foundation has issued 2 guidelines that mention dynamic posturography:

  • Revised in September 2014, a position statement on the evaluation or therapy of individuals with suspected balance or dizziness disorders, listed dynamic posturography as 1 of 4 medically indicated tests or evaluation tools.
  • In 2017, updated guidelines on the management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo were published; posturography is not mentioned.


Not applicable.


Dynamic posturography, vestibular dysfunction, EquiTest,


In 1985, the NeuroCom EquiTest® (NeuroCom International, Portland, OR; now Clackamas, OR), a dynamic posturography device, was cleared for marketing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the 510(k) process. Other dynamic posturography device makers include Vestibular Technologies (Cheyenne, WY) and Medicapteurs (Balma, France). Companies that previously manufactured dynamic posturography devices include Metitur (Jyvaskyla, Finland) and Micromedical Technology (Chatham, IL).


Coverage is subject to member’s specific benefits.  Group specific policy will supersede this policy when applicable.

ITS: Home Policy provisions apply

FEP contracts: FEP does not consider investigational if FDA approved and will be reviewed for medical necessity.


CPT Codes:

92548              Computerized dynamic posturography sensory organization test (CDP-SOT), 6 conditions (i.e. eyes open, eyes closed, visual sway, platform sway, eyes closed platform sway, platform and visual sway), including interpretation and report

92549              ;with motor control test (MCT) and adaptation test (ADT)


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  32. Lim KB, Lee HJ. Computerized posturographic measurement in elderly women with unilateral knee osteoarthritis. Ann Rehabil Med 2012; 36(5):618-26.
  33. Ludin F, Ledin T, Wikkelso C et al. Postrual function in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus before and after shunt surgery: a controlled study using computerized dynamic posturography (EquiTest). Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2013; 115(9):1626-31.
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Medical Policy Group, March 2006 (3)

Medical Policy Administration Committee, April 2006

Available for comment May 5-June 19, 2006

Medical Policy Group, March 2007 (1)

Key Points updated, references added: March 2008 (1)

Medical Policy Group, March 2009 (1)

Medical Policy Group, March 2010 (1): Key points updated, no policy change, references added

Medical Policy Group, November 2010 (1): Description updated, Approved Governing Bodies updated, References updated

Medical Policy Group, November 2011 (1): Update to Key Points and References; no changes in policy statement

Medical Policy Group, November 2012 (1): Update to Key Points and References; no changes in Policy statement.

Medical Policy Panel, November 2013

Medical Policy Group, January 2014 (2): No change to policy statement.  Update to Key Points and References based on latest literature search.

Medical Policy Panel, November 2014

Medical Policy Group, November 2014 (4): No change to policy statement.  Update to Key Points and References

Medical Policy Panel, February 2017

Medical Policy Group, February 2017 (6):  Updates to Description, Key Points, Governing Bodies, Practice Guidelines and References; no change in policy statement.

Medical Policy Panel, February 2018

Medical Policy Group, February 2018 (6): Updates to Description and Key Points.

Medical Policy Panel, February 2019

Medical Policy Group, February 2019 (6): Updates to Key Points and added Key Word “Equitest”.

Medical Policy Group, December 2019 (6): 2020 Annual Coding Update, Revised code 92548, added code 92549.

Medical Policy Panel, February 2020

Medical Policy Group, February 2020 (6): Updates to Key Points and Practice Guidelines.

This medical policy is not an authorization, certification, explanation of benefits, or a contract. Eligibility and benefits are determined on a case-by-case basis according to the terms of the member’s plan in effect as of the date services are rendered. All medical policies are based on (i) research of current medical literature and (ii) review of common medical practices in the treatment and diagnosis of disease as of the date hereof. Physicians and other providers are solely responsible for all aspects of medical care and treatment, including the type, quality, and levels of care and treatment.


This policy is intended to be used for adjudication of claims (including pre-admission certification, pre-determinations, and pre-procedure review) in Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s administration of plan contracts.

The plan does not approve or deny procedures, services, testing, or equipment for our members. Our decisions concern coverage only. The decision of whether or not to have a certain test, treatment or procedure is one made between the physician and his/her patient. The plan administers benefits based on the member’s contract and corporate medical policies. Physicians should always exercise their best medical judgment in providing the care they feel is most appropriate for their patients. Needed care should not be delayed or refused because of a coverage determination.

As a general rule, benefits are payable under health plans only in cases of medical necessity and only if services or supplies are not investigational, provided the customer group contracts have such coverage.

The following Association Technology Evaluation Criteria must be met for a service/supply to be considered for coverage:

1. The technology must have final approval from the appropriate government regulatory bodies;

2. The scientific evidence must permit conclusions concerning the effect of the technology on health outcomes;

3. The technology must improve the net health outcome;

4. The technology must be as beneficial as any established alternatives;

5. The improvement must be attainable outside the investigational setting.


Medical Necessity means that health care services (e.g., procedures, treatments, supplies, devices, equipment, facilities or drugs) that a physician, exercising prudent clinical judgment, would provide to a patient for the purpose of preventing, evaluating, diagnosing or treating an illness, injury or disease or its symptoms, and that are:

1. In accordance with generally accepted standards of medical practice; and

2. Clinically appropriate in terms of type, frequency, extent, site and duration and considered effective for the patient’s illness, injury or disease; and

3. Not primarily for the convenience of the patient, physician or other health care provider; and

4. Not more costly than an alternative service or sequence of services at least as likely to produce equivalent therapeutic or diagnostic results as to the diagnosis or treatment of that patient’s illness, injury or disease.