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Medicare Finalizes Revised Eligibility Criteria for Power Wheelchairs – by Kay Lowe

0 Comments 19 March 2010

Medicare announced revised eligibility criteria for power mobility equipment. The new criteria are based on the functional ability to carry out daily activities with and without use of power mobility equipment. The requirement that the patient be “bed- or chair-confined” has been dropped. While considered a positive move, advocacy groups are concerned that the new criteria will leave out many who need such equipment. Changes in billing codes have also been made and will take effect January 1, 2006.groups are concerned that the new criteria will leave out many who need such equipment. Changes in billing codes have also been made and will take effect January 1, 2006. (PRWEB) May 10, 2005 — Medicare today announced changes in the coverage criteria used to determe patient’s eligibility for power wheelchairs and scooters. These changes come after after a long period of meetings and hearings among Medicare, advocacy groups and the power mobility industry. Under the revised criteria, patients who need power mobility equipment no longer need be “bed- or chair-confined” as required by current criteria. Instead, new elibigility criteria based on the patient’s functional ability to perform daily activites and care for themselves will take effect immediately. Advocacy groups, including the Restore Access to Mobility Partnership (RAMP)and the Medicare Benefits Center, recognized this action by Medicare as a positive move toward extending coverage to those who need mobility equipment. Both groups expressed concern, however, that the newly-revised criteria continue to exclude many who need power mobility equipment, particularly since Medicare retained criteria requiring mobilty equipment be needed for use in the home. Medicare’s relaxation of criteria for eligibility for power mobility equipment is relevant in light of a recently publicized study showing significant savings for Medicare for those who receive power wheelchairs. According to the study, Medicare recipients who were approved for power wheelchairs cost Medicare several thousand dollars less in the three year period after receiving the equipment. More complete information on this study can be obtained at http://power-wheelchairs.blogspot.com. Further information on the revised Medicare criteria for power-operated vehicles and power wheelchairs can be obtained at www.Medicare.gov.

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