AOTA Meets With Herb Kuhn Regarding Power Mobility Evaluations
AOTA and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) met with Herb Kuhn, Acting Deputy Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), on Wednesday, July 18, to discuss a provision of deep concern to occupational and physical therapists that is included in the Medicare DME contractor’s Local Coverage Determination Policy for Power Mobility Devices (PMD).
Specifically, the LCDs require that, effective April 1, 2008, occupational therapists and physical therapists must be RESNA-certified Assistive Technology Practitioners (ATPs) in order to perform the specialty evaluation required for patients receiving Group 2, Group 3, or Group 4 wheelchairs.
AOTA has grave concerns that this new policy requirement does not measure a therapist’s competence in performing PMD evaluations and will result in an access problem for Medicare beneficiaries.
AOTA is hopeful that CMS will work with the Medicare contractors to revise the PMD policies and recognize that occupational and physical therapists are highly qualified by their education and clinical experience to perform seating and mobility evaluations, should they choose to practice in this area. AOTA has been advocating to CMS about this issue since the draft coverage policies were issued in the fall of 2005.