CMS defends pre-authorization policy for power wheelchairs

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Federal health officials at a recent Senate hearing defended a demonstration program that requires Medicare pre-authorization for power wheelchairs. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' officials told members of the Senate Special Aging Committee that the program is needed because 80% of the claims submitted for wheelchairs fail to meet Medicare's coverage requirements. Wheelchair suppliers, however, said that the CMS program is too restrictive.