Industry Rallies Support During Seat Elevation Comment Period

The Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) industry is urging stakeholders to provide crucial comments during the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) public comment period on seat elevation.

Through Sept. 14, stakeholders can send comments in support of potential Medicare coverage for power seat elevation on Group 3 power wheelchairs.

The ITEM Coalition’s rise4access.org Web site is loaded with resources to educate stakeholders on the effort to secure seat elevation funding, as well as sample letters and a petition to support seat elevation funding policy.

The American Association for Homecare’s (AAHomecare) Aug. 24 bulletin included CMS guidance for submitting comments as well as “AAHomecare Seat Elevation/Standing Systems NCD Reconsideration Central.” Standing systems for Group 3 power chairs is not part of this comment period.

CMS opened the public comment period on Aug. 15.

In an Aug. 16 newsletter to stakeholders, NCART said, “[The comment period] is good news, and we have been anxiously awaiting this announcement. Now is the time for all CRT advocates to submit their comments supporting the request for coverage of power seat elevation systems during the public comment period, which ends September 14.”

NCART also asked industry members to share the news about the comment period with other stakeholders to maximize the number of comments sent to CMS.

In its announcement, CMS stated that Medicare currently doesn’t cover seat elevation “because it has not been determined that their use is primarily medical in nature.” CRT advocates argue that seat elevation facilitates a number of mobility-related functions, such as safer, more efficient transfers. Seat elevation can also lessen the risk of muscle strain that occurs when people who use wheelchairs must constantly look and reach upward from their standard seated position.

 

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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