Coming soon: standards for adaptive equipment

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WASHINGTON – A bill that requires Veterans Affairs to establish quality and safety standards for adaptive equipment and vehicles is headed to the president’s desk for his signature.

The House of Representatives on Nov. 29 agreed to pass an amended version of the Veterans Mobility Safety Act previously passed by the Senate. The amended version of the bill allows independent providers to continue performing home installations and deliveries, and ensures a fair certification process.

“We have shown that Congress listens to small- and medium-sized businesses when the narrative is honest, forthright and consistent,” said Drew McCartney, CEO of Harmar, which led a coalition of providers and manufacturers working to amend an original version of the bill. “It took a lot of meetings, letters and emails, but we found willing listeners and rose to the occasion.”

At times leading up to the House and Senate passing the bill, Harmar’s coalition and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association were at odds over the scope and specifics of the bill.

More specifically, the bill requires the VA to establish quality and safety standards for adaptive equipment and vehicles, including equipment quality and safety; certification of providers by third-party manufacturers or other organizations; training for VA personnel administering the program; and allowances for home modifications.

The amendments to the bill were introduced by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.