Take Action: House and Senate Sign-on Letters Supporting Medicare Coverage for Seat Elevation & Power Standing Systems
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Both chambers are now circulating sign-on letters to CMS regarding the seat elevation and the power standing National Coverage Determination. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Bob Casey (D-PA) are leading the Senate letter, with signatures requested by September 30, 2022. Reps. Jim Langevin (D-RI), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), and John Rose (R-TN) are leading a similar sign-on effort in the House that is set to close on October 3, 2022.
Medicare does not currently cover seat elevation and standing systems in power wheelchairs, viewing these systems as “not primarily medical in nature.”
Both sign-on letters:
- Thank CMS for opening a National Coverage Analysis and public comment period for power seat elevation systems;
- Urge CMS to advance Medicare coverage for power seat elevation systems, consistent with the existing body of clinical evidence and within all applicable rules and regulations; and
- Urge CMS to promptly move forward with opening a National Coverage Analysis for power standing systems.
Please share the Senate or House letter with individual who handles healthcare issues in your legislators’ offices and ask that they join the letter. This is a good follow-up to any discussions on power mobility in part of meetings at today’s virtual legislative conference. Please add any perspectives on why these systems would help CRT users related to your work serving those patients.
You should also share that Senate offices can contact Sens. Duckworth, Casey, or Blackburn to sign on, while House offices should contact Reps. Reps. Langevin, Fitzpatrick, Dingell, or Rose.
You can view the Senate sign-on letter here, and the House sign-on letter here. Contact Gordon Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org for contact info for House healthcare legislative staff. The public comments on the NCD for seat elevation closed Sept. 14. You can view AAHomecare’s resource center and visit Rise4Access.org for more information on this issue.
AAHomecare and NCART: Joint Response
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A subgroup of AAHomecare’s Regulatory Council and Complex Rehab & Mobility Council (CRMC), and National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART) worked together to develop a formal response to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (OIG’s) report: “Medicare Improperly Paid Durable Medical Equipment Suppliers an Estimated $8 Million of the $40 Million Paid for Power Mobility Device Repairs.”
In the letter, AAHomecare and NCART provided a comprehensive description of the current state and challenges of supplying PMD repair services, which the OIG failed to capture in the report. Due to the serious deficiencies of the Medicare policies for PMD repairs, AAHomecare and NCART recommended that CMS establish a stakeholder workgroup to identify and implement needed reform of the PMD repair policies and payment rules to improve timely beneficiary access to medically necessary PMD repair services.
The formal industry response may also be helpful for suppliers to use when addressing repair issues with third party payers. You can find AAHomecare and NCART’s letter to the OIG here.
AAHomecare Submits Comments to the National Coverage Analysis for Seat Elevation Systems for Power Wheelchairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last week, AAHomecare submitted comments to the National Coverage Analysis for seat elevation systems for power wheelchairs. In the letter, AAHomecare strongly encouraged CMS to expand coverage to this important technology.
Seat elevation systems allow wheelchair patients to safely and independently participate in activities of daily living, and the benefits of the technology are supported by patients and scientific literature. AAHomecare took this opportunity to let CMS know that coverage for standing systems is also important to wheelchair patients. We were disappointed CMS chose only to move forward with seat elevation systems at this time.
Comments submission closed last week with over 3,500 comments submitted by patients, care givers, health care providers, and DMEPOS suppliers. CMS is expected to publish a proposed NCD by February 15, 2023. You can find AAHomecare’s comments here.