The American Occupation Therapy Association, the American Physical Therapy Association, and the American Association for Homecare asked for deletion of the requirement that patients receiving rehab power wheelchairs on or after April 1, 2008 be evaluated by a RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Practitioner. AOTA is pleased to announce that this requirement has been removed. This news has been posted on their website.
AOTA Victory: Medicare Removes Certification Requirement on OT Power Wheelchair Evaluations
After more than 2 years of advocacy, AOTA is happy to announce its success in eliminating an additional requirement for occupational therapy wheelchair evaluations under Medicare. Reimbursement and Regulatory Policy staff convinced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to eliminate a requirement that would have required an additional certification for occupational therapists (OTs) performing wheelchair evaluations for higher-end power devices. AOTA had responded to this change, proposed to be implemented in 2008, because it caused deep concern about access for Medicare beneficiaries and an unwarranted restriction on an evaluation that is clearly within the scope of occupational therapy practice.
The provision was included in the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment (DME) contractor’s Local Coverage Determination (LCD) Policy for Power Mobility Devices (PMDs) released in 2006. Specifically, the original LCD required that occupational therapists and physical therapists attain certification as RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioners (ATPs) in order to perform the specialty evaluation required for patients receiving Group 2, Group 3, or Group 4 power wheelchairs. The same LCD was adopted by each of the medical directors across the country, making it a national policy in effect.