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Stakeholders make progress on power standing, repair

Stakeholders make progress on power standing, repair

Cara MasselinkWASHINGTON – Complex rehab technology stakeholders participated in a call with CMS on Sept. 26 to provide the agency with additional information to support Medicare coverage for power standing systems. 

The meeting was led by the ITEM Coalition and attended by Wayne Grau, executive director of NCART, and Cara Masselink, executive director of the Clinician Task Force, as well as physicians, clinicians, manufacturers and consumers. 

“I would love to tell you, ‘It’s going to open up; we’re going to have it right away,’” Grau said, “but there was no definitive answer. I will tell you our group did a great job of educating CMS and I do think they were engaged.” 

CMS has moved forward with the ITEM Coalition’s request to reconsider the national coverage determination for mobility assistive equipment to include coverage for power seat elevation systems but it has, so far, held off for power standing systems

Following the call, the CTF planned to send CMS a letter with updates to the evidence base and clarifications on the user base for power standing systems, Masselink said. 

State stuff 

NCART started off the year working on different repair and service-related bills in 15 states and now it’s working on three in California, Connecticut and Massachusetts. In California, stakeholders are hoping Gov. Gavin Newsom will sign a bill introduced by state Sen. Bill Dodd that would raise the cap on prior authorizations for repairs from $250 to $1,250. 

“There should be no reason why, when we go to repair a product, if we have the part in our vehicle or a consumer comes in and we have it in our inventory, that we shouldn’t be able to just go ahead and repair it right there,” Grau said. 

The bill in California, SB271, would also allow consumers to purchase certain parts, like arm pads and casters, but not anything clinical or programmable. 

In Connecticut, stakeholders are part of a workgroup that’s been mandated to issue a report in early 2024; and in Massachusetts, they’re advocating for a bill introduced by state Rep. Joseph McKenna, which incorporates their suggestions, over another bill introduced by state Sen. John Cronin.  

Pledge season 

The CTF is accepting donations to support its work in 2024. The donation page on the organization’s website outlines what it accomplished this year and what it hopes to accomplish next year. 

“I hope people will remember our really avid involvement and engagement in advocacy for power seat elevation and power standing systems and the tangible policy changes that we’ve been involved in related to ICD-10 codes for cushions and our power assist project,” Masselink said. “We work solely off of donations, and we try to turn the bulk of our budget each year back over to the members for the work they’re doing.”


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