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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

the information and determine if payment should be made. Meanwhile beneficiaries, often living on limited fixed incomes, are placed in a position of paying their deductible and 20 percent copayment only to be at risk for having the device repossessed if the claim is denied. In addition, if the claim is denied for any reason the DME supplier will then have to pick up the chair from the beneficiary, if they are even able to provide it at all under these circumstances, and start the process over."

Perriello declared that "this does not constitute a demonstration; it effectively eliminates a Medicare benefit for individuals who reside in one of the States included in this program."

Across the country, advocates for aging and disability communities are voicing their concerns about the CMS program, and asking their Senators and Representatives in Congress to stop the project.

In California, Karen Miner, co-founder of two advocacy organizations, Research for Cure and Californians for Cures, said, "We are upset about the impact of this change on some of the most vulnerable people in our society. If providers go out of business or no longer serve Medicare patients, seniors and people with limited mobility must wait longer for the medical equipment prescribed by their physicians. This will cause pain and suffering.  For someone with limited mobility, a power wheelchair can mean the difference between living independently in your home or confined to a care facility or nursing home."

In Michigan, Mike Zelley, president of The Disability Network, said, "This is a direct attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Senior citizens and people living with disabilities need power wheelchairs to live independently in their homes and to delay confinement in expensive care facilities and nursing homes.  Congress cannot allow CMS to restrict access to medical equipment that has been prescribed by physicians so that these Medicare b
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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