Complex rehab technology affects all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders.
Although the term may not be familiar to everyone, “complex rehab technology”–or properly configured wheelchairs and other mobility equipment–is critical to our quality of life and independence. It keeps us moving. It allows us to do what we love. And most importantly, it enables us to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way. Isn’t that what life’s all about? If you’re stuck at home with a cruddy wheelchair, that isn’t much of a life.
Medicare currently does not have unique coverage for the more complex equipment that so many people rely upon. We know that when a properly configured wheelchair and seating system is not available, bad things happen that greatly diminish a wheelchair user’s ability to be active, healthy and mobile in the community.
Complex rehab technology includes medically necessary individually configured manual and power wheelchair systems, adaptive seating systems, alternative positioning systems, and other mobility devices that require evaluation, fitting, design, adjustment and programming. This type of technology is designed to meet the specific and unique medical and functional needs of an individual living with disability.
Click here to view examples of Standard vs. Complex Rehab Technology Manual and Power Wheelchairs.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to it. But you can help change that!
In April 2012, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-7th NY) introduced HR 4378, a bill to establish a benefit to ensure that persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders will be able to get custom power wheelchairs and seating systems under the Medicare program. In March 2013, the bill was reintroduced as HR 942 by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-14th NY) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-5th WI) and in May 2013, the bill was introduced on the Senate side as S. 948 by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Thad Cochran (R-MS). In March 2015, Representatives Sensenbrenner and Crowley reintroduced the legislation, now known as H.R. 1516 and in April 2015, Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) introduced the Senate bill, S. 1013.
View a list of Representatives and Senators signed on to H.R. 1516/ S. 1013.