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Survey Finds Mobility Providers Struggling to Adjust to New Medicare Policies and Regulations
Date:4/11/2011

we have no way of certifying how rental power equipment has been maintained and cared for while in the hands of any beneficiary."

Since the beginning of the year, when the mandatory rental policy replaced a Medicare patient's option to purchase a power wheelchair, she said, "We have already turned patients away. I don't even know where to send them.  We are not physically in a competitive bidding area, but most (companies) around us stopped doing them last year due to the significant documentation requirements.  I guess they saw the writing on the wall.  One lady I spoke with had already called 4 companies and was still searching.  Let's hope that she can find a reputable company before she falls and requires a hospital stay."

Janet Round, of AWCS Medical, Inc., in Porterville, CA., said she has also stopped offering standard power wheelchairs.

"We will no longer be able to provide the standard power wheelchair to our patient population," she said, noting that problems have arisen with other medical equipment on rental programs. "The initial cost of the chair prohibits using it as a rental. We have found too many patients think they own DME (Durable Medical) equipment such as hospital beds…even when we have not received the 13 months of rental.  They move out of state with our equipment or their family sells the equipment when the patient expires and there is no way for a provider to recoup the loss.  I can't take the chance of them taking off with the power chair when we would have so much invested in the chair."

Others providers are also concerned.

"Providing power mobility now has the word 'RISK' written all over it," said Serina Breen, of Freedom Mobility Center, LLC , in Rodeo CA. "The rigorous and time-consuming documentation requirements required for power mobility along with the high risk of charge back already make providing power mobility equipment expensive and risky.  Now with th
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SOURCE American Association for Homecare
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