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Homecare Providers and Consumer Advocates Urge Congress to Stop Ineffective Medicare Payment Review Process for Mobility Equipment
Date:12/8/2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Association for Homecare, along with home medical equipment providers and consumer advocates, are calling on Congress to stop implementation of a controversial Medicare "prepayment" demonstration project that would jeopardize access to power wheelchairs for beneficiaries with disabilities and cause significant job losses in several states.

Under the project, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would require "prepayment review" for all Medicare power wheelchair claims in seven states – California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, and Texas – beginning January 2, 2012.  This will affect nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries who require power mobility. Stakeholders representing clinicians, people living with disabilities, and providers of power wheelchairs were all stunned by the November 15th announcement of the program.

Home medical equipment providers are still reeling from the 13-month rental reimbursement policy for mobility equipment, a change implemented last January. Already, that policy has caused many providers to go out of business or no longer offer power wheelchairs. In addition, Medicare beneficiaries, especially those in rural areas, can have difficulty obtaining mobility equipment.

"We are calling on Congress to stop this demonstration project before it prevents older Americans and people living with disabilities from receiving medically required mobility equipment and causes irreparable harm to providers of home medical equipment and services," said Tyler J. Wilson, President and CEO of the American Association for Homecare. "Members of Congress should be worried about the impact of this program on many of the most vulnerable people in our society." 

Wilson called it "inconceivable" that CMS would
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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