Cancer Treatment Device Exempt as Durable Medical Equipment.

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Photo of doctors and nurses in a hospital.

Wisconsin recently released a private letter ruling stating that a cancer therapy device is exempt durable medical equipment.

Tumor Treating Fields ("TTFields") therapy is a solid brain tumor cancer treatment. The therapy uses low intensity alternating electric fields to disrupt certain cancer cells. The electric field is applied to the brain through electrodes placed on the scalp. The electric field generator attached to the electrodes is carried in a bag. The electrodes, field generator, and associated accessories are TTFields therapy devices.

Wisconsin exempts sales of durable medical equipment and prosthetic devices. Durable medical equipment (1) is primarily and customarily used for a medical purpose related to a person, (2) can withstand repeated use, (3) is not generally useful to a person who is not ill or injured, and (4) is not placed in or worn on the body. Durable medical equipment is exempt from sales tax when it is sold for use "in a person's home." "In a person's home" means that the device can be used where the patient lives and during daily actives. A prosthetic device is a replacement, corrective, or supportive device that is placed in or worn on the body to artificially replace a missing portion of the body, to prevent or correct a physical deformity or malfunction, or to support a weak or deformed portion of the body. Prosthetic devices for human use are always exempt from sales tax.

While TTFields therapy devices are attached to the body, they are not fully supported by the body. TTFields treatment also does not treat a deformity or missing portion of the body. The devices are attached to the body, supported in a bag, and repeatedly used to treat a medical condition. Therefore, TTFields therapy devices are durable medical equipment rather than prosthetic devices. TTFields therapy devices are exempt from sales tax when sold for in-home use.

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