Rehab group primed for 'Super Tuesday'

Monday, October 31, 2005

WASHINGTON - The Power Mobility Coalition took CMS to court on Oct. 25, the day the agency's interim final rule on power mobility devices went into effect, but it appears a judge will fail to rule in its favor.
The PMC filed suit against CMS on Oct. 13, seeking a preliminary injunction that would prevent the agency from implementing the rule, which replaces CMNs with prescriptions and physician notes.
But in U.S. District Court here, Judge Reggie Wilson indicated that he had concerns about whether the PMC had jurisdiction, according to a statement from the PMC.
"They argued that suppliers who are denied claims still have administrative avenues to exhaust before they can come to federal court," said Eric Sokol, director of the PMC. "We argued that [doing that] takes two to three years."
The judge was expected to release a written opinion "in the near future," the PMC's statement said.
The PMC and others in the rehab industry, which had named Oct. 25 "Super Tuesday," were disappointed - but not without hope. The PMC is now "weighing its options concerning appeals rights and is exploring all feasible options available to delay and modify the new rule," the group's statement said.
Reasons for the PMC's suit include CMS's alleged violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. It set an implementation date that precedes the Nov. 25 deadline for comments, Sokol said.
At the hearing, government attorneys argued that suppliers need not fear the rule, because the determination of medical necessity is up to the physician and CMS - not suppliers, the statement said. The only additional burden for suppliers is to "purchase more filing cabinets."