Thursday, October 4, 2007

Renewed Attention to Medicare "In the Home" Restriction

Some people who live with MS and use a mobility device are confined to their homes due to a certain Medicare restriction on reimbursement. Medicare Part B still will only provide reimbursement for power wheelchairs or scooters that are used inside the home. For those who need a mobility device to get around in the community outside, reimbursement is denied.

Eliminating the "in the home" restriction is imperative to providing necessary and deserved mobility to people living with MS and other disabilities. Click here and enter your ZIP code to send a quick email to your Senators. Ask them to help lift the "in the home" restriction by co-sponsoring this legislation.

This is the same issue that MS activists have been pursuing for awhile. Senators Jeff Bingaman (NM) and Susan Collins (ME) have renewed interest in this issue by reintroducing the Medicare Independent Living Act (S. 2103).

Statutory language currently is interpreted by Medicare to restrict coverage of mobility devices to only equipment considered reasonable and necessary inside a beneficiary's home. This legislation seeks to lift that restriction under Medicare Part B. S. 2103 is a companion bill to H.R. 1809, introduced in the House by Congressmen Jim Langevin (RI) and Jim Ramstad (MN) back in March. The issue has early support. The Senate bill was reintroduced with five co-sponsors, and the House bill now has 33 bi-partisan co-sponsors.

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