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Low-Reimbursement Rate Threatens Wheelchair for Wounded Vets
Date:5/13/2009

WASHINGTON, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepreneur, and Bill Chatfield, director of the Selective Service System, will discuss how a low Medicare reimbursement rate has put out of production a mobile wheelchair that could benefit wounded veterans, at a National Press Club Newsmakers press conference at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, in the Broadcast Operations Center, Room 480, of the National Press Building, 529 14th St., N.W.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080917/NPCLOGO)

Kamen and Chatfield will advocate for the iBOT, a mobile powered wheelchair that allows users to climb stairs, mount curbs, go to the beach, cover rough terrain and rise up to 6' tall in order to converse with another person at eye level. They also will explore the importance of providing state-of-the art rehabilitation technology to wounded veterans and 1.3 million Americans with spinal cord injuries.

Kamen and Chatfield will be joined by Brandon Millett, president of the GI Film Festival, which is underway this week in Washington.

The iBOT is not being manufactured because Medicare and most private insurers only cover a fraction of the device's cost. That price is less expensive than other chairs currently on that market that do not give a person as much independence as the iBOT, according to its supporters. Regardless of individual needs or ability to pay, no one can purchase an iBOT. Wounded veterans who were previously able to obtain the device are no longer able to do so.


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SOURCE National Press Club
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