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HHS Report Confirms that the Complicated Medicare Documentation Requirements for Power Wheelchair Claims Obstruct Regulatory Compliance by Physicians and Wheelchair Providers
Date:1/15/2010

physicians and equipment providers regarding paperwork expectations. We have been working with both Congress and CMS to improve the documentation requirements and claims-review process to ensure that the Medicare program is paying appropriately for the equipment that beneficiaries need to remain safe and independent in their homes and communities. Congress and CMS should examine the flaws and regulatory burdens of the Medicare claims process. CMS must develop better, simpler guidelines to address the problems, and the American Association for Homecare will continue to work with OIG and CMS to improve the compliance and paperwork process."

In addition to the documentation problems, it is worth noting that Congress has reduced reimbursement rates for power wheelchairs by more than 35 percent over the past five years. These cuts include the following: inflation updates for power wheelchair payments were eliminated from 2004 to 2009; a 9.5 percent cut to reimbursement was included in the 2008 Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008; reimbursements fell an average of 27 percent as a result of Medicare coding and fee schedule changes in November 2006; and fee schedule prices were cut by approximately three percent in 2005.

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers, manufacturers, and others in the homecare community that serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility assistive technologies, medical supplies, inhalation drug therapy, and other medical equipment and services in their homes. Members operate more than 3,000 homecare locations in all 50 states. Please visit www.aahomecare.org.


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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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