PMC closes its doors

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

WASHINGTON - The legion of groups that represent wheelchair providers and manufacturers no longer includes the Power Mobility Coalition (PMC).

HME News called the PMC's director, Eric Sokol, in January and heard the following message: "You have reached the offices of the Power Mobility Coalition. The Power Mobility Coalition is now closed. For those who have inquiries regarding the PMC, please contact Steve Azia."

Azia, the PMC's counsel, told HME News in January that the PMC had been closed for about a month.

"There are multiple organizations representing power mobility now, so it came down to industry consolidation," he said.

Groups representing wheelchair providers and manufacturers include AAHomecare's Complex Rehab and Mobility Council (CRMC), NRRTS, NCART and RESNA. Only the CRMC, however, represents standard power wheelchair providers and manufacturers; the rest represent mainly complex power wheelchair providers and manufacturers.

Another group, the Restore Access to Mobility Partnership (RAMP), closed in 2007 and rolled itself into the CRMC (then called the Rehab and Assistive Technology Council or RATC).

With a decreasing number of groups representing wheelchair providers and manufacturers, watch for the CRMC to gain power and play a bigger role, industry watchers said.

The PMC, which launched in 2000, made Medicare's increasingly stringent documentation requirements its No. 1 priority. It also took on national competitive bidding.

"Over the years, we've testified before Congress and we've attended Open Door Forums," Azia said. "We've done a lot to promote the power mobility benefit and to assure proper due process." hme