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The Amputee Coalition Signs on to ITEM Coalition’s Letter Seeking Power Standing Systems Coverage

Jun 29, 2023 |

Continuing to advocate for people who use wheelchairs as a mobility aide, the Amputee Coalition has signed on to the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition’s letter which ultimately seeks expanded Medicare coverage for standing systems in power wheelchairs.  

The ITEM Coalition is comprised of nearly 100 national organizations (including the Amputee Coalition who is a Steering Committee Member) that seek to improve access to and coverage of assistive devices and technologies that enhance the function of people with disabilities and chronic conditions.  

On May 16, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a landmark National Coverage Decision (NCD) concluding that seat elevation systems in power wheelchairs fall within the benefit category for durable medical equipment. However, CMS elected to split standing systems into a separate NCD, evaluating only seating elevation during this NCD process and declining to set a schedule for reviewing standing systems pending further consideration.  

In response, ITEM Coalition urges CMS to proceed with a separate National Coverage Analysis (NCA) for power standing systems on the basis that systems help wheelchair users carry out important daily activities, avoid secondary medical conditions, and live more independently. The letter issues a call to action to sign on to the Dear Colleague letter being led by Representatives Debbie Dingell and Brian Fitzpatrick requesting that CMS opens the NCA on standing systems in power wheelchairs. 

If you haven’t already, we invite you to join our active Advocacy community on AC Connect! Share your stories of how seat elevation has impacted your life or a loved one.