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Physician Outraged by Medicare Power Wheelchair Documentation Policy
Date:7/16/2010

WASHINGTON, July 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For years, homecare equipment providers have cited the many ramifications of the Medicare program's inefficient guidelines for documenting the medical necessity of power wheelchairs for beneficiaries.  It is the root cause of claim denials that are frequently reversed, the target of excessive audits and it restricts access to power wheelchairs for patients.  But rarely, until now, have physicians offered their perspective.  

It is enlightening to hear physicians share their experiences with the documentation process for power mobility.  Jerald Winakur, M.D., F.A.C.P., C.M.D., is Clinical Professor of Medicine and an associate faculty member at the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

This is how Dr. Winakur describes the documentation process required by the federal agency that operates Medicare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This was published in the American Association for Homecare bulletin, "Mobility Matters:"

"I am a privately practicing internist and geriatrician. I have spent the last 35 years of my life trying to keep my frail and elderly patients at home, functional and independent for as long as possible.  Thousands of my primary care colleagues are doing the same thing across the country.  Our mission – whether as health care providers, loving family members, or concerned fellow citizens – is to respect our elders' autonomy, and support them in their desire to remain at home for as long as they can stay safe and secure. If I falter in my mission, I realize that my frail, elderly patient – often along with his or her spouse – will
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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