A federal report released last week on Medicare claims for power wheelchairs confirms that the regulatory documentation requirements are confusing, onerous, and must be improved, says the American Association for Homecare, the nation’s largest association representing providers of durable medical equipment and services, including wheelchairs.
The December 2009 report released by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that “three out of five claims for standard and complex rehabilitation power wheelchairs did not meet Medicare documentation requirements during the first half of 2007.” These findings are consistent with the experience of power wheelchair providers. They illustrate the fundamental problems that occur when confusing and contradictory policies are applied to the claims process and when standardized Medicare documents approved by the federal Office of Management and Budget are not used.
“The OIG study does not illustrate a problem with provider compliance but rather it reflects the obstacles providers face with Medicare documentation and its paperwork requirements,” stated Tyler J. Wilson, President of the American Association for Homecare. “The paperwork requirements are confusing, shifting, and inconsistent.”
“The OIG report actually confirms what wheelchair providers and physicians have said for the past three years: the Medicare documentation requirements for power wheelchairs are inconsistent, far too complex, and must be improved so both physicians and wheelchair providers can serve patients and successfully meet Medicare regulations. We obviously want to ensure 100 percent compliance. But the inequity and inefficiencies of this system are evident when, as the OIG found, only 7 percent of claims for complex rehabilitation wheelchairs meet Medicare’s documentation standards.”
To read AAHomecare's full statement on this report, visit the AAHomecare Newsroom.