Washington, D.C. (May 16, 2023) – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a landmark National Coverage Decision (NCD) that expands Medicare coverage of seat elevation systems in power wheelchairs. CMS determined that seat elevation is not a convenience item and is, in fact, “primarily medical in nature.” Seat elevation systems help enable the transfer from the wheelchair to other surfaces facilitating mobility-related activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, grooming, and preparing and eating meals. The seat elevation coverage is effective immediately.
“We are very happy with this decision. It is real help to persons with mobility disabilities, many of whom are Medicare beneficiaries,” said Sara Struwe, President and CEO of the Spina Bifida Association.
This decision is a major coverage expansion over the preliminary coverage decision announced in mid-February. CMS attributes the expanded coverage to the 2,130 public comments received by wheelchair users, advocates, clinicians, and researchers. SBA submitted comments and thanks everyone who supported these efforts.
Click here to read the full press release issued by Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition. ITEM submitted the original coverage request.