Left no choice

Friday, December 20, 2013

I read Teresa Austin’s letter to the editor (HME News, November 2013) and it is a clear picture of Medicare’s callous disregard to anyone with a disability.

We have one case, among many, involving a quadriplegic on a ventilator who, apparently, does not deserve a chair. The latest reason given to us by Medicare: On one page of the multiple pages of documentation, the physician changed a date and did not initial it. On another page, he signed the PT report but did not add the words, “I agree with this.” We have an affidavit from the physician, stating that he did indeed sign the report.

Before we even begin to apply for prior approval, we have lost money. Many of our customers are in outlying areas. We must go to their home. We must diagram the house. We must list all floor coverings. We must show all doorways. We must describe all entrances. We must aid the client in getting multiple documents. We review all of this and then submit. In most cases, this is simply an exercise in futility.

After 56 years in the DME business, we will no longer be selling power wheelchairs to Medicare clients unless the onerous rules are changed. Medicare has left us no choice.

—Wayne McDonald, president, 

Saginaw Medical Service