CMS Opens Comment Period for Power Seat Elevation Coverage

Published in Government Relations and Regulatory Assistance on February 20, 2023

Late on Wednesday, Feb. 15, CMS announced the opening of a comment period relating to the request for Medicare coverage of power seat elevation systems used with complex power wheelchairs. This is a federally required time period that allows the public to submit data, views, and arguments in regards to a current rule. You can read the full announcement from CMS here

CMS determined that power seat elevation systems are reasonable and necessary for individuals using Group 3 power wheelchairs that meet the following condition:

  1. The individual performs weight-bearing transfers to/from the power wheelchair while in the home, using either their upper extremities during a non-level (uneven) sitting transfer and/or their lower extremities during a sit-to-stand transfer. Transfers may be accomplished with or without caregiver assistance and/or the use of assistive equipment (e.g. sliding board, cane, crutch, walker); and,
  2. The individual has undergone a specialty evaluation by a practitioner who has specific training and experience in rehabilitation wheelchair evaluations, such as a physical therapist (PT) or occupational therapist (OT), that assesses the individual’s ability to safely use the seat elevation equipment in the home.

CMS is also seeking comments on whether seat elevation systems should be considered for Group 2 power wheelchairs as well. This is an opportunity to expand access beyond our initial request and we encourage advocates to support this additional coverage in their comments.

What does this mean for you?

There is an immediate need for as many comments to be submitted by March 17, 2023, in support of Medicare coverage of power seat elevation. The comments that are going to mean the most are from the perspectives of the people who are affected the most.

U.S. Rehab has compiled a list of resources that providers can use to spread awareness to collect as many comments as possible:

  1. Email template providers can use to send out to their customers
  2. Social media template anyone can use to post on social media
  3. Find a list of talking points/tips for building your comment here

TAGS

  1. accessibility
  2. advocacy
  3. cms
  4. complex rehab
  5. regulatory
  6. vgm

From Our Experts

CMS Public Meeting - Seat Elevation Coding and Reimbursement thumbnail CMS Public Meeting - Seat Elevation Coding and Reimbursement Earlier this month CMS announced preliminary recommendations for coding and pricing of power seat elevation systems. The preliminary decision can be read here. Monthly Update Released by NCART in NCART News thumbnail Monthly Update Released by NCART in NCART News Here is some of what you might have missed in this months NCART news. NCART: Medicaid Reimbursement Raises Needed for Complex Rehab Technology thumbnail NCART: Medicaid Reimbursement Raises Needed for Complex Rehab Technology NCART is urging state Medicaid programs to raise their reimbursement rates for Complex Rehab Technology (CRT). [Breaking News] CMS Announces a Huge Win for Power Seat Elevation thumbnail [Breaking News] CMS Announces a Huge Win for Power Seat Elevation the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has determined that power seat elevation equipment on Medicare-covered power wheelchairs (PWCs) falls within the benefit category for durable medical equipment (DME). Washington Governor Sign SB 5218 to Remove Sales Tax From CRT Equipment thumbnail Washington Governor Sign SB 5218 to Remove Sales Tax From CRT Equipment On May 4 in Olympia, Washington, Governor Jay Inslee signed SB 5218 into effect. This bill exempts complex rehab technology (CRT) equipment from sales tax, making it more accessible and affordable for those in need of it. Senate Dear Colleague Letter on Power Seat Elevation and Standing Systems Begins to Circulate thumbnail Senate Dear Colleague Letter on Power Seat Elevation and Standing Systems Begins to Circulate Please reach out to your representatives to ask them to sign the Dear Colleague Letters, which request that CMS advance Medicare coverage for power seat elevation system and urge them to promptly move forward with the process for power standing systems. U.S. Rehab and VGM Government Relations Attend Congressional Briefing in Washington D.C. thumbnail U.S. Rehab and VGM Government Relations Attend Congressional Briefing in Washington D.C. Wednesday, Sept. 14, was a momentous day of advocating for CRT and other key legislative issues. Greg Packer and Tom Powers spent time in Washington D.C. attending the NCART/NRRTS Virtual Congressional Fly-In and a congressional briefing on power seating and standing systems for power wheelchairs. Important Update on Seat Elevation Covered Under Medicare thumbnail Important Update on Seat Elevation Covered Under Medicare On May 16, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the National Coverage Determination (NCD) for the Seat Elevation System as a covered item.