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Congress Asked to Stop Policy That Would Restrict Access to Mobility Assistance for Medicare Beneficiaries in New York
Date:12/16/2011

e through Medicare and there are about 418 providers in the state.

"Mobility assistance is so important to the people who need it," said Gracie Chambers, who does public policy outreach for Independent Living of Niagara County, NY.  "We can't stand by and let CMS restrict mobility for our friends, parents, grandparents and other relatives who depend on Medicare. Congress must act."

Todd Vaarwerk, director for advocacy and public policy for the Western New York Independent Living, Inc, said that the demonstration project "would result in vulnerable people all over New York being confined to their beds and chairs because they cannot get power wheelchairs. That would be cruel and uncaring. Medicare is supposed to provide hope, not take it away." 

Yesterday, a group of 22 bipartisan House Members wrote to CMS asking the agency to stop the prepayment review project.

"…we have many concerns with enacting a demonstration project of this size with minimal notice to the affected stakeholders," the lawmakers wrote. "Such a project could result in significant job losses and jeopardize seniors' access to this important Medicare benefit… We encourage you to halt the prepay review demonstration project due to the potential threats to businesses, jobs and seniors' access to care."

Among the signees of the letter were New York Congressmen Rep. Edolphus Towns (D), Rep. Peter King (R), Rep. Brian Higgins (D) and Rep. Charles Rangel (D).

National consumer organizations are also concerned about the Medicare beneficiaries impacted in New York, as well as California, Florida, Illinois, Texas, Michigan and North Carolina.

In a letter to Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, the United Spinal Association asked Congress to take immediate action to halt this demonstration before the congressional recess. The organization urged CMS to work wit
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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