Senate moves to protect access to speech generating devices

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Senate has included language in its budget resolution that protects patient access to medical necessary speech generating devices, reports Tobii Dynavox, a manufacturer of the devices. The language comes from a bill introduced March 18 by Sen. David Vitter, R-La. A similar bill has already been introduced in the House of Representatives. “The Senate adoption of the budget amendment for speech generating devices is another show of support that we hope will result in full enactment of the legislation,” the company stated in a press release. Known as The Steve Gleason Act of 2015, the bills would make SGDs purchase items instead of capped rental items, and clarify statutory language to ensure coverage of eye-tracking technology for beneficiaries who need it to operate their devices. A number of senators have put their weight behind the bill, including Maine’s two senators, Angus King and Susan Collins.