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Power Wheelchair Brings Independence and Hope to Man with Complications Due to Spina Bifida
Date:8/9/2012

er wheelchairs. The current documentation guidelines are so subjective and flawed that CMS contractors routinely deny claims for power wheelchairs that were prescribed by physicians. Many denied claims are overturned after lengthy and costly appeals, but under the prior authorization program Medicare patients would not obtain a power wheelchair until after the denials are resolved and some beneficiaries may never be approved for the equipment.

This has prompted sharp criticism from consumer advocates, such as the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL).  "We remain concerned that the program CMS has designed…has the potential to eliminate the Medicare benefit for power mobility devices for individuals who reside in one of the seven States where the program will be implemented," Billy Altom, the APRIL executive director, warned in a recent letter to CMS.

Meanwhile, Ryan Wilson doesn't understand why CMS and Congress are adopting policies that restrict utilization of the Medicare power mobility benefit.

"My power wheelchair means so much to me," said Wilson. "Although it is not feasible, I would love for some lawmakers and bureaucrats to spend time in wheelchairs to help them realize just how hard it is…that's the type of experience that would help them understand why people need them and why advocates for people who are disabled fight so hard that we can have access to them."

The American Association for Homecare represents durable medical equipment providers and manufacturers who serve the medical needs of millions of Americans who require oxygen equipment and therapy, mobility devices, 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/athome.

 


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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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