The Vanishing WheelchairBy Byzek, Josie; New Mobility, Vol. 21, No. 202, Supplement, pp. 1-9
Publication Date: July 2010
Article discusses the effects of recent cuts in Medicare and private insurance reimbursements for durable medical equipment (DME), with an emphasis on wheelchairs. According to the article, Medicare reimbursements for DME have been cut by 37 percent over the past five years. The reduction in reimbursements is also seen with private insurers, as these companies use Medicare as their primary negotiator with the Government. The effect of these cuts on wheelchair manufacturers is their offering fewer choices in models and accessories and hiring fewer certified technicians to customize the chairs to the users. A competitive bidding program dividing DME into categories of which vendors are allowed to bid on a certain number has also resulted in a reduction of available Medicare providers to choose from. The article describes work done at the annual Continuing Education and Legislative Advocacy conference to promote passage of HR 3790, a bill calling for an end to the competitive bidding program; and educate legislators about the importance of complex rehab technology, products designed to meet specific functional needs of people with disabilities such as adaptive seating equipment, standers, and gait trainers.
Published by: No Limits Communications Inc. (Website:http://www.newmobility.com)