Clinician Task Force Paper on Seat Elevation Is Published

Members of the Clinician Task Force have had their paper on the benefits of power seat elevation published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The paper — “Policy Analysis on Power Seat Elevation Systems” — became available online in May.

The paper’s authors are Clinician Task Force Executive Director Cara E. Masselink, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP; Nicole B. LaBerge, PT, ATP; Julie Piriano, PT, ATP/SMS; and Ashley C. Detterbeck, DPT, ATP/SMS.

In the abstract, the authors noted that Medicare does not currently cover power seat elevation in power wheelchairs, but they argue that wheelchair riders routinely use seat elevation “when performing tasks such as transferring, reaching, and looking at objects in environments designed for ambulatory people.”

With the goal of improving access to power seat elevation technology, the authors “investigated applicable literature, compiled evidence, and evaluated existing policies to explain the medical nature of power seat elevation systems as part of a greater interprofessional effort.” They argued that using seat elevation “may reduce the onset of pain and comorbidities,” and hope the paper “will inform healthcare professionals of the medical nature of power seat elevation systems and the evidence-based conditions under which power wheelchair users may need power seat elevation systems, as well as empower clinicians to engage in policy directives to affect greater change.”

Power seat elevation is a hot seating topic this summer, given that Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure has told the industry to expect a public comment period on potential Medicare coverage for power seat elevation and standing to open by August.

In its June newsletter, NCART said it was working with the ITEM Coalition “on related discussions and advocacy actions” related to the anticipated public comment period. When that comment period opens, “a Web site devoted to this issue will be shared as a hub of resource materials, talking points, and comment submissions,” the NCART notice added.

In a Mobility Management podcast that went live last week, NCART Executive Director Don Clayback shared further information on how the industry can participate in the public comment period.



About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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