Stakeholders agree: K0005 is complex rehab

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Friday, September 7, 2012

WASHINGTON – Stakeholders couldn’t be happier that CMS has designated the K0005 ultra lightweight manual wheelchair as complex rehab.

“It makes perfect sense and we’re happy to see CMS reach that decision,” said Don Clayback, executive director of NCART. “This further identifies complex rehab-type products and puts the right requirements around that technology.”

Previously, CMS listed K0005 among manual wheelchairs. That meant, unlike other complex rehab, it wasn't protected from competitive bidding, and stakeholders had to fight to get it carved out of Round 2 last fall. 

That fight started the ball rolling on this change, Clayback said. 

"We asked if the K5, as well as some skin protection cushions, could be excluded from Round 2," he said. "We definitely felt this was a complex wheelchair because of the type of patient it's designed to help."

Providers say they won’t have any trouble meeting requirements like having an ATP on staff because they already treat K0005 as complex rehab.

“Run-of-the-mill salespeople don’t know how to fit people in these wheelchairs,” said Jim Fallon, president of Birmingham, Ala.-based Medirest. “It’s an expensive chair and people who get it need special care.”

Providers say it was “foolish” not to group the K0005 with complex rehab before now.

“Your user for the ultra lightweight wheelchair is going to be someone that’s going to require that level of intervention—someone who’s a full-time, active wheelchair user,” said Scott Scobey, president of Low Country Mobility in Savannah, Ga.