SADMERC outlines manual wheelchair possibilities

Sunday, October 7, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. - The new codes for manual wheelchairs are still a work in progress, but attendees at Medtrade got a sneak peak of what they might look like.

The SADMERC is considering 10 "builder" codes for adult manual wheelchairs, Dr. Doran Edwards, the carrier's medical director, told attendees at an NCART update. Providers would use one of the 10 codes and then add options and accessories to build a wheelchair to fit an individual's weight and needs.

Another possibility: 40 codes in 10 different categories, depending on weight capacity.

The SADMERC is looking to revamp coding for manual wheelchairs to better reflect new advances in technology.

For pediatric manual wheelchairs, there may be an additional 12 codes, Edwards said, because "they're so adjustable and broadly built."

Additionally, the SADMERC might require applicable RESNA-based testing standards, such as those concerning stability, for manual wheelchairs.

Next, the SADMERC plans to revamp coding for options and accessories to
"match" the new codes for power and manual wheelchairs.

The SADMERC seeks feedback from providers on coding for manual wheelchairs. E-mail Edwards at

Also at the NCART update:
* Edwards said the program safeguard contractors (PSCs) are "actively looking" at delaying or modifying the requirement that independent assistive technology providers (ATPs) conduct evaluations for certain power mobility devices beginning April 1, 2008.

* Edwards expects the SADMERC to release a companion document providing more details on its new testing requirements for PMDs. Manufacturers must use independent facilities, with two exceptions, to test their PMDs beginning Jan. 1, 2008. The companion document will include definitions of independent testing facilities.