Monday, March 23, 2009
Medicare Independent Living Act
2/16/09: The Medicare Independent Living Act (H.R. 1809) was introduced ... The legislation would modify Medicare’s “in the home” restriction on mobility devices. It would significantly improve community access for Medicare beneficiaries with mobility impairments by removing a discriminatory restriction that bases the coverage of mobility devices solely on an individual’s mobility needs inside their home. The statutory “in the home” language was originally meant to define durable medical equipment (DME) as devices that were provided outside of a hospital or skilled nursing facility and, therefore, warranted separate reimbursement under Medicare Part B, rather than Part A. However, over time, Medicare has chosen to interpret this language in a way that restricts coverage of mobility devices to only those that are reasonable and necessary in the individual’s home.