Medicare policy threatens Aging in Place
CMS (US Medicare) is about to implement a new policy that will dramatically reduce the reimbursement rates for complex rehabilitation wheelchair accessories and seating systems.
According to experts in the home medical equipment industry, access to these items will be reduced, if not eliminated.
We view this as a critical issue for individuals who want to Age in Place and depend upon such products to address their safety, comfort and ease of use needs.
For example, people with significant disabilities such as ALS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy & spinal cord injuries rely on complex rehabilitation products to meet their medical needs and support Independent Living.
Eric LeGrand (pictured above), founder of Team LeGrand of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, says –
Access to wheelchairs and accessories is critical to my independence… It’s my lifeline to the outside world. Without a functioning chair that is tailored based on my level of injury, I would be sidelined, restricted and unable to pursue my professional philanthropic ambitions.
You can help! It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
1. Sign the petition
A coalition has started a petition on The White House website called “We the People”.
The petition stays active until OCTOBER 25!! If enough people sign the petition, it is brought directly to President, Barack Obama.
The goal is to get 100,000 signatures!
Click on this link www.ProtectMyIndependence.com to go directly to the petition
One special note, when you sign on to the petition it will send you an e-mail to confirm your action. Some e-mail servers may block the confirmation e-mail. If you don’t get a confirming e-mail, check your spam or try again with an alternate e-mail.
2. Spread the word in your Network
After you sign the petition, ask all of your friends, family and colleagues to do the same.
Are you part of a local caring network? Either formal or informal? If you’ve worked on an Aging in Place or Universal Design project, both your clients and project mates might be interested in signing the petition.
Are you social? Follow this link to Protect My Independence on Facebook.
Or follow the links below to our post on Facebook
Sage Tip for Sage Pros
If you haven’t networked with a home medical equipment supplier in your local community, make a connection. Asking them about this issue is good way to start a conversation.
To find a Retailers of mobility products in your area, search by zip code here.
3. Learn More & Do More
A new bill (H.R. 3229) has been introduced to provide the necessary legislative technical correction to clarify that CMS cannot apply Medicare competitive bid pricing to accessories used with complex rehab wheelchairs.
By clicking here, you can directly email your Federal House Representative about this issue.
If you want more details about the proposed cuts by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to complex rehabilitation wheelchair accessories and seating systems, visit: www.ProtectMyIndependence.com/LearnMore.
If you are interested in a “deeper dive” into the details, follow these links that are also available on the Access2CRT website –Access2CRT.org.
Sage in Home
The need to show our commitment to Active Living for Everyone by helping get the word out about the petition caught us in the midst of a major re-organization.
Going forward, Sage in Home will be for professionals. Soon we will formally introduce Sage Tip, for consumers. Click here to learn more.
As background, our technology partner who provided us with a platform to select products and professionals by detailed criteria went out of business last spring.
Sadly, we decided to put our “Active Living Products” blog series, new product guides and most of our social media activity on hold as we rebuilt our capabilities.
For Sage Professionals, the new directory allows you to tastefully highlight your Aging in Place renovations, Universal Design and product installations to promote Independent Living.
Plus, its much more user-friendly now! (And, free to those who help us re-launch.)
Soon, after some more clean-up, we’ll have announcements about resuming the product tour blog series and Sage Tips for family caregivers, pro-active Seniors and Baby Boomers.
In the meantime, please seriously consider talking to a local home health retailer about this issue that effects the ability of some to Age in Place. Maybe you will find some opportunities to work together.