Lawmaker "greatly concerned" over PWC documentation

Sunday, May 21, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) sent a letter to CMS last week, asking the department to re-evaluate the paperwork burden encountered by providers who bill Medicare for power chairs and scooters.

Miller is chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs.

Under Medicare's new rule for power mobility devices, which eliminates the certificate of medical necessity, "the supplier should obtain as much documentation from the patient's medical record as it determines it needs to assure itself that the coverage criteria for payment have been met."

In her letter, Miller stated that the Subcommittee is "greatly concerned" that CMS failed to "seriously evaluate the additional burden that the final rule imposes on suppliers of PMDs." By way of example, Miller included with her letter sample forms, developed by suppliers, "that would generate all the information required by the final rule, but in a standardized form that will relieve some for the new burden placed on suppliers of PMD." Miller further urged CMS to consider "these alternative collection methods in addition to your reconsideration of the paperwork burden imposed on PMD suppliers."

The Power Mobility Coalition (PMC) has long been concerned with the lack of a clear and concise documentation requirement contained in the final rule (and in the previous interim final rule). The PMC has been working with the Subcommittee and other members of Congress to address these concerns with both CMS and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). PMC members provided the Subcommittee with the sample forms that were used to demonstrate alternative collections.

"PMD stakeholders applaud the actions of the Subcommittee and we hope that Congressional concerns will spur both CMS and OMB to work together in developing a documentation requirement that will provide suppliers with greater clarity, ease administrative burdens, and ensure that eligible beneficiaries receive proper PMDs," said Stephen Azia, attorney for the Power Mobility Coalition.