Rehab council wins battle, not war

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas - A council of rehab providers in Texas has convinced the state's Medicaid program to make "significant" adjustments to the reimbursement rates for power wheelchairs.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission now pays comparable rates to Medicare, said Tom Hafford, secretary/treasurer of the Greater Texas Rehab Providers' Council (TXRPC).
"That's a significant increase, when you consider, before, we were below the Medicare allowable by 10% to 15%," said Hafford, president of Mobility Dynamics in Cleburne, Texas.
The new rates went into effect July 1. Medicaid even made them retroactive to Oct. 1 2006.
Medicaid also created several new codes and rates for standers, a device that allows users, mostly children, to experience "sit-to-stand" positioning. Previously, Medicaid refused to reimburse providers for one type of stander, and it capped reimbursement for all others at $830. Standers can cost up to $1,000 to $3,000.
"It's more reasonable," said Nancy Rice, who co-owns The Wheelchair Shop in Houston. "We work with several different models of standers now."
The new rates for standers also went into effect this summer.