CMS Opens Comment Period for Power Seat Elevation Coverage

Published in Government Relations on February 28, 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

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