Henry Claypool, Co-Director of Advancing Independence and Co-Chair of the ITEM Coalition, as well as a K-11 wheelchair consumer himself, asked Congress and government officials as they tackle this fraud and abuse problem, to bear in mind that the ambiguity and restrictive nature of the current policy denies access to power mobility for countless needy recipients annually.
pointed to Medicare's current "in the home" coverage criteria, which provides power wheelchairs only to individuals who need them to move about the "four walls of their home" and not for use in the community, school or workplace.
Additionally, the witness reminded CMS
that the term "in the home" was created when Medicare Part B began to cover durable medical equipment and wanted to differentiate between equipment used by the patient in a hospital and equipment used in the individual's home.
included three stories, one being his
own, in which deserving individuals have or would be denied power wheelchairs under this standard.
continued by recommending the agency communicate with medical professionals and consumers to develop clear coverage criteria that values the functionality and independence of people with disabilities and compliments other current policies such as Chairman Grassley's Ticket to Work Program.