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American Association of People With Disabilities and Consumer Advocates Strongly Oppose Medicare Wheelchair Policy That Will Harm Medicare Beneficiaries
Date:12/22/2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has asked the Obama Administration to stop a demonstration project that affects Medicare beneficiaries requiring mobility assistance, saying it "will have a significant, immediate and adverse impact on people with disabilities," reports the American Association for Homecare.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants to require "prepayment review" for all power wheelchairs provided to Medicare patients in seven states – California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Texas – starting January 2, 2012.  This will affect nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries across the country who require power mobility.

Under the program, providers of home medical equipment and services will be forced to wait up to 16 months or more before being fully reimbursed after filling power wheelchair prescriptions for Medicare patients. These businesses are still reeling from a 13-month rental reimbursement policy mandated last January, which has caused many providers to leave the business. It has delayed the delivery of medical equipment that physicians have prescribed for seniors and people living with disabilities, especially in rural areas.

In a December 15th letter to CMS, Mark Perriello, AAPD's president and CEO, wrote that the project "jeopardizes care for almost every Medicare beneficiary" in the affected states.

"We respectfully request you take immediate action to stop this demonstration," Perriello wrote to Marilyn Tavenner, acting CMS administrator, "work with Congress and power mobility stakeholders, including consumers, to identify a viable alternative that will allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive the physician prescribed medical equipment they require while fulfilling CMS' ma
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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