In a major victory for people with disabilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved coverage for power seat elevation equipment on certain power wheelchairs. This decision will make it easier for people with disabilities to access this important assistive technology.
What started in 2020 as a submission from the ITEM Coalition (a coalition of patients, providers, researchers, and other subject matter experts including National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology (NCART)), ended up taking almost three years to be approved. It was an industry-wide effort to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities. After thousands of public comments were submitted by complex rehab technology (CRT) advocates and months of anticipation on a decision from the CMS organization, on May 17, CMS ruled in favor of power seat elevation systems being covered under traditional Medicare and Medicaid Advantage plans!
With the passing of this legislation, mobility users who once struggled with reaching into a kitchen cabinet, removing an item from a grocery store shelf, and performing a simple transfer from their power chair to a bed or couch will now be able to accomplish these basic tasks successfully therefore paving their way to living a life of freedom and independence.
“CMS’ decision will allow more individuals with serious mobility challenges to utilize seat elevation systems,” said Tom Ryan, AAHomecare president & CEO.
“Our nation's healthcare infrastructure needs to continue to take full advantage of technologies that prevent additional medical complications and allow seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their homes.”
The Rehab Medical team is excited for this legislation’s passing as it will help us to continue our mission of improving and positively impacting the lives of the patients we serve. We want to thank all those who came together to advocate for this change and recognize the positive impact it will have on mobility users for years to come.