Revised ATP Requirement Forbids Financial Relationship Between Rehab Supplier, Evaluating Clinician

In December, the Program Safeguard Contractors (PSCs) for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rescinded an April 2008 requirement that would have demanded assistive technology practitioners (ATPs) or specialized physicians conduct the evaluations for beneficiaries to receive certain rehab power chairs and manual chair power-assist devices.
Instead, CMS indicated it would revert to the current requirement, which says would-be rehab power and power-assist recipients need “a specialty evaluation that was performed by a licensed/certified medical professional, such as a PT or OT, or a physician who has specific training and experience in rehabilitation wheelchair evaluations and that documents the medical necessity for the wheelchair and its special features.”
The original December bulletin that rescinded the ATP requirement neglected to mention that there cannot be a financial relationship between the evaluating medical professional and the supplier who will provide the equipment. The PSCs have since revised the article to include the notation, “The PT, OT or physician may have no relationship with the supplier.”
The revised version will be included in a future edition of the power mobility devices local coverage determination (LCD).

This article originally appeared in the February 2008 issue of Mobility Management.

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