Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mobility Matters: End of First-Month Option Threatens Access to Power Mobility

The American Association for Homecare released the eighth in a series of “Mobility Matters” bulletins focused on the threats to power mobility. The article states:

“Clearly Congress did not consider the economic consequences of putting additional financial stress on these homecare businesses at a time when banks and other lenders have a tight rein on credit. The problem for these businesses is that many providers cannot secure the capital or credit necessary to cover the overhead and upfront costs of acquiring power wheelchairs while waiting 13 months for full payment. In fact, most banks cite the unpredictability of the Medicare program and the risk associated with the 13-month billing period as reasons for not backing the providers. In addition, Medicare receivables cannot be assigned to securitize lines of credit.

So in short, the government is telling providers to find upfront cash to pay for power wheelchairs, deliver those chairs to Medicare patients, and then wait to be reimbursed over a 13-month rental period. This would force the homecare providers to do what the nation’s banks are refusing to do – provide the credit for Medicare patients to receive power mobility. This scenario is totally unreasonable in the current economic climate.”

Tyler Wilson, president of AAHomecare, commented, “Congress and CMS should heed these warnings from the homecare community and advocates for people living with disabilities. Medicare beneficiaries are about to become victims of very bad public policy. Lawmakers should not be adding to the burdens of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Taking away access to mobility is wrong. And this can be averted by Congress acting to delay implementation of this policy.”

Click here to read the full Mobility Matters article.

No comments: