Push is on for Seat Elevation Comments

Mobility stakeholders have until March 17 to comment on a proposed NCD that would expand coverage for power seat elevation to Medicare beneficiaries for the first time.

In the wake of CMS releasing a proposed NCD that would expand coverage for power seat elevation on certain power wheelchairs for the first time, various organizations are calling on wheelchair stakeholders and users to submit public comments.

CMS’s proposed NCD would cover power seat elevation equipment under Medicare for beneficiaries using Group 3 power wheelchairs for the first time. The proposed NCD is open for public comment until March 17. The proposed NCD decision memorandum is available to review here, and a link to submit public comments is on that page as well.

Organizations working to support the push for public comments include the National Coalition for Assistive & Rehab Technology (NCART), the American Association for Homecare, the ITEM Coalition and Access2CRT.

“It is critical that CMS receives as many supportive stakeholder comments as possible, including both detailed organizational comments and individual comments from individuals who use wheelchairs, caregivers, healthcare providers, manufacturers, friends, family, and all other advocates,” a statement from NCART read.

“Medicare coverage for seat elevation is long overdue, so it’s really gratifying to see that CMS is finally close to making these systems available to more wheelchair users,” said Madonna Long, a veteran mobility and HME advocate who uses seat elevation to remain active in her community and start her own HME business, which focuses on urological products.

“Seat elevation has enhanced my life in so many ways and allowed me to take part in activities that would be difficult or impossible without it,” she added. “Seat elevation has enabled me to engage members of Congress on an eye-to-eye level in my career as an advocate, and has also allowed me to perform everyday tasks like reaching the top shelf at a grocery store or pumping my own gas.”

How to Help

In terms of resources for creating a public comment, the ITEM Coalition has updated the www.rise4access.org resource website with suggested talking points and instructions on how supporters can submit their comments. Additionally, AAHomecare has posted an AAHomecare Seat Elevation NCD Reconsideration Central website, as well as a sample email encouraging wheelchair users to share comments.

In terms of messaging, stakeholder organizations emphasized the importance of sharing personal stories on how seat elevation positively benefitted users. They also noted that CMS is seeking comments on whether seat elevation systems in Group 2 power wheelchairs would also be appropriate for coverage and urged those submitting comments to support that coverage.

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher HME Business, DME Pharmacy and Mobility Management magazines. He was Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy from 2008 to 2023. Follow him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dkopf/ and on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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