Virginia drafts ‘stronger’ standards law

Sunday, August 31, 2003

RICHMOND, Va. - Permobil sales representatives had a successful meeting with Virginia rehab providers in July, helping them to draft a “stronger and shorter” law than Tennessee’s, according to Darren Jernigan.

Virginia’s draft of the law asks that rehab providers be members of the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS), where Tennessee’s law asks only that providers meet requirements similar to those of a NRRTS membership, said Jernigan, director of government affairs for the Nashville, Tenn.-based Permobil.

Virginia’s draft of the law also defines custom wheelchairs as all Medicare K codes, with the exception of K0001, K0002, K0003, and K0006, where Tennessee’s law exempts all those codes plus the K0004, he said.

“They’re keeping [the K0004] out for now as a bartering chip,” Jernigan said.

Moreover, Virginia’s draft of the law asks that qualified rehab professionals be present at the final fitting of a wheelchair, where Tennessee’s law allows professionals to sign off; and Virginia’s draft of the law asks physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) to become certified, where Tennessee’s does not.

“This is the beauty of federalism,” Jernigan said. “Each state is going to come up with something different. This is a really nice bill.”

Jernigan said rehab providers in Virginia are hoping that the speaker of the House, William Howell (R-28th District), will sponsor the bill.

“If that’s the case, we won’t even have to have a lobbying firm,” Jernigan said. HME