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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

spring this change on the power mobility users and providers knowing that medical equipment providers are struggling to adjust to the rental policy. "CMS moved unilaterally with no notice to Congress, Medicare beneficiaries, or the power mobility community," he said. "Their actions will ration medically necessary items and services to Medicare beneficiaries and will actually increase health care costs.  Studies show that beneficiaries with limited mobility who don't receive power wheelchairs require more medical treatment, additional skilled services and may even have to be admitted to expensive care facilities and nursing homes."

The United Spinal Association said the demonstration project will further endanger people living with disabilities who need mobility assistance.  "The process for receiving a power wheelchair has already become burdensome for Medicare beneficiaries and their physicians," said Paul Tobin, president and CEO of United Spinal Association. "There are parts of the country where Medicare patients have to do business with reluctant providers who are hundreds of miles away.  This demonstration project will make it harder for them to receive the wheelchair they need for everyday mobility.  We will be urging our members to contact their congressmen and put a stop to this project." 

For providers, the prepayment review is yet another financial burden, one that will make it impossible for many of them to continue serving Medicare beneficiaries.

"Providers simply cannot operate under this system," said Georgie Blackburn, vice president of government relations and legislative affairs for BLACKBURN'S, a home medical equipment and service firm in Tarentum, Pa.  "We are already straining to deal with rental reimbursements that take 13 months.  How can the government possibly expect our businesses to wait an additio
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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