REHAB coalition fights back

Sunday, October 16, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The Power Mobility Coalition made a move last week to thwart CMS's plan to change the documentation requirements for power wheelchairs and scooters.

The PMC filed suit against CMS late on Thursday, seeking a preliminary injunction that would prevent the agency from implementing its interim final rule on Oct. 25.

CMS announced on Friday that it would delay implementation of new wheelchair codes and the draft local coverage determination, but it stayed the course on its decision to replace CMNs with prescriptions and physician notes.

The PMC, a coalition of providers and manufactures, believes the interim final rule will decrease beneficiary access to power mobility devices, increase the regulatory burdens on physicians and "irreparably harm suppliers."

The coalition prefers the CMN, which it believes establishes "objective criteria" for power wheelchair and scooter documentation.

"CMS has eliminated the form mandated by Congress and moved to a subjective system that will create fear and uncertainty," said PMC Counsel Stephen Azia.