In Wheelchair Win, CMS OKs Power Seat Elevation for Power Chairs

HomeCare News

Calling it a "landmark decision," the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced May 16, 2023 that it had, for the first time, made power seat elevation for power wheelchairs eligible for reimbursement as durable medical equipment (DME). 

CMS said effective immediately, seat elevation for Medicare-covered power wheelchairs is now considered a clinically meaningful benefit to people with Medicare who perform transfers from power wheelchairs or use their chairs for mobility-related activities of daily living such as dressing, grooming, toileting, feeding and bathing. DME advocates, mobility manufacturers and members of the disability community had urged CMS to issue the Benefit Category Determination (BCD) and National Coverage Decision.

“For too long, many people who use a power wheelchair could not access everyday items in their homes and may have struggled to get in and out of their device,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a statement. “This landmark Medicare decision to cover seat elevation is a major milestone that will improve the quality of life for so many who rely on this technology.”

Advocates called the decision a "win for wheelchair users and their caregivers." American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare), NCART, the ITEM Coalition and a wide variety of mobility user groups pushed hard for the move, spurring more than 5,000 public comments in two response periods. 

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