Friday, February 4, 2005
Tired of those Scooter Store commercials? Did you ever wonder when you watched them whether they could possibly really mean that Medicare would cover a scooter for individuals who still seemed perfectly capable of walking on their own? Well, wonder no more because the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced new proposed guidelines for motorized scooters purchases under Medicare. According to the CMS news release
"Medicare’s proposed coverage criteria would rely on clinical guidance for evaluating whether a beneficiary needs a device to assist with mobility, and if so, what type of device is needed. This new approach would replace an older, more rigid standard that relied on whether a patient was “nonambulatory” or “bed or chair confined.” The analysis begins with whether the beneficiary has a mobility limitation that prevents him or her from performing one or more mobility-related activities of daily living in the home. This evaluation includes consideration of whether or not an assistive device – whether a simple cane or a sophisticated power wheelchair or anything in between ‑ would improve the beneficiary’s ability to function within the home. The criteria also take into account any conditions, such as visual or mental impairment, that would affect the beneficiary’s ability to use the mobility equipment effectively."
The CMS release states that the new guidelines continue to protect Medicare coverage and payment for power wheelcairs and scooters, while also protecting Medicare and taxpayers from abuse. Mmmmm - I don't think that we will be seeing quite the same Scooter Store commercials in the future. [bm]
Thanks to Jim Tomaszewski for the link!