CMS listens to industry, raises wheelchair reimbursements

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it would raise reimbursement levels for power mobility devices, heeding warnings from power wheelchair makers.

In early October, CMS released its proposed fee schedule for power mobility devices. Since then, the agency has been bombarded by warnings from manufacturers, suppliers, clinicians, consumer and disability rights advocates who said that the lower reimbursement levels would put a number of manufacturers out of business and jeopardize availability of the product for those who need it.

The new fees, effective Nov. 15, reflect a recalculation in the schedule to ensure that inflation factors were applied uniformly. The agency ensured that heavier weight power wheelchairs were not priced lower than those of standard weight because of a lack of data, according to Laurence D. Wilson of CMS's Chronic Care Policy Group.

More on the changes is available at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/DMEPOSFeeSched/01a_Power_Mobility_Devices .