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Seat Elevation/Standing Systems NCD Reconsideration Central

The Medicare National Coverage Determination on seat elevation systems for power wheelchairs is now open for comments through September 14, 2022.  Find resources here to help you craft your comments, and encourage others to advocate for coverage for this life-enhancing technology.

The medical benefits of power seat elevation and power standing systems in power wheelchairs are beyond dispute. -- ITEM Coalition, September 2020

AAHomecare is joining with the ITEM Coalition, NCART, and other stakeholders in updating the NCD for seat elevation systems (as well as for standing systems) to provide strong patient access to this highly effective technology.  Medicare does not currently cover seat elevation and standing systems in power wheelchairs, viewing these systems as “not primarily medical in nature.” The opening of the NCD will allow mobility stakeholders, clinicians, patients, and caregivers an opportunity to help change that policy and allow individuals with significant disabilities to benefit from Medicare coverage for these devices.

Please note: In CMS' Aug. 15 announcement opening the NCD, the Agency states that "The benefit category and coverage of standing systems will be considered at a later date."  We will keep you posted on the status of reconsideration for standing systems.

HME stakeholders are encouraged to share comments requesting Medicare to cover this technology and to encourage your patients, clinician partners, and other contacts to comment, too. You can submit comments here through September 14, 2022.

While the most effective comments will incorporate your own words and perspective, we offer these messages on the issue as a starting point:

  • Identify your role as an HME supplier (or other role) and reference any related work with individuals with significant mobility challenges.
  • Specifically request that Medicare extend coverage for seat elevation systems in power wheelchairs for individuals with mobility disabilities.
  • Share any perspectives/experience you are aware of on importance of mobility for individuals in terms of both health outcomes (i.e., such benefits as improved joint mobility and muscle tone, increased strength and bone density, better urinary and digestive health, improved respiratory function, and reduced bedsores), as well as enhanced independence and ability to remain at home.
  • If possible, reference a specific experience(s) you have that highlight the importance of improved mobility for patients with severe disabilities, as well as any experiences providing these systems to patients, if applicable.
  • Conclusion: Express your thanks for the opportunity to comment and reaffirm your support for expanding Medicare coverage for seat elevation systems.

AAHomecare is currently developing comments on behalf of the association and will post these here when available. Please encourage your patients, clinicians and other contacts to add their voice to this effort, and share the ITEM Coalition's rise4access.org resource to help in crafting their messages.