United Spinal Association and other advocates have combined efforts to ensure that people living with disabilities in Washington State have access to properly configured wheelchairs and other mobility equipment or “complex rehab technology”– that is critical to their quality of life and independence.
On May 8, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1445, which requires the state health care authority to establish a separate recognition for individually configured, complex rehabilitation technology products and services for complex needs patients within the medical assistance program.
“In order for people with paralysis to remain active participants in our society and lead the lives they choose, complex rehab technology is essential,” said Paul J. Tobin, president and CEO of United Spinal Association.
“This is a huge victory for the disability community. We thank our members in Washington State who let their voice be heard on this issue and helped get this bill signed into law,” added Tobin.
United Spinal is also advocating on the national level for the passage of HR 942, a bill to ensure that persons with spinal cord injuries and disorders will be able to get benefits for custom power wheelchairs, ultra lightweight wheelchairs and seating systems under the Medicare program.
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.