Support Needed for Final Push to Help Secure a Historic Win for Power Wheelchair Users
Source: American Association for Homecare Insider 2/22/2023
Seat elevation systems have been available for power wheelchairs for 25 years. Thanks to the passionate and persistent efforts of leading disability advocates and mobility stakeholders, CMS is now considering Medicare coverage for this technology for power wheelchairs. Now is the time to finish the fight and strengthen access to seat elevation for wheelchair users.
“Medicare coverage for seat elevation is long overdue, so it’s really gratifying to see that CMS is finally close to making these systems available to more wheelchair users,” said Madonna Long, a veteran HME advocate who has utilized seat elevation to remain active in her community and also start her own HME company focusing on urological products.
“Seat elevation has enhanced my life in so many ways and allowed me to take part in activities that would be difficult or impossible without it,” Long adds. “Seat elevation has enabled me to engage members of Congress on an eye-to-eye level in my career as an advocate, and has also allowed me to perform everyday tasks like reaching the top shelf at a grocery store or pumping my own gas. These systems have helped me remain independent while also being a part of my community – and every wheelchair user and their caregivers should be able to have that same opportunity.”
We encourage all segments of the HME community, especially the mobility sector, to submit comments in support of Medicare coverage for this proven technology – and to also ask your wheelchair-user patients (along with other parties such as clinicians, caregivers, and local disability groups) to weigh in as well.
Please utilize and promote our resources to deliver high-impact comments in support of expanding access to seat elevation systems. Comments from wheelchair users and individuals supporting them will especially impactful in convincing CMS to cover this highly effective technology that enhances quality of life and supports better health outcomes for individuals with serious mobility challenges.
- AAHomecare Seat Elevation NCD Reconsideration Central
- Rise4Access.org -- comprehensive online resource developed by the ITEM Coalition to help patients and other stakeholders develop effective comments
- Sample email encouraging wheelchair users to share comments
- CMS decision summary and link to submit comments