AOTA To Meet with Medical Directors Regarding Power Mobility Evaluations
AOTA and the American Physical Therapy Association will meet on October 23, 2007, with the following Medicare Durable Medical Equipment (DME) contractor medical directors: Dr. Adrian Oleck of Trust Solutions (Region C); Dr. Paul Hughes of Tricenturion (Regions A & B); and Dr. Mark Pilley of Integriguard (Region D), to discuss a provision of deep concern to occupational and physical therapists that is included in the Medicare DME contractor's Local Coverage Determination (LCD) Policy for Power Mobility Devices (PMD). The same LCD has been adopted by each of the medical directors across the country, making it a national policy in effect.
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.
The Medicare DME medical directors listened to AOTA's request for a meeting in AOTA's LCD reconsideration letter. The letter urges the medical directors to review and revise the PMD LCD to remove the RESNA ATP certification requirement for occupational therapists providing mobility device evaluations.
AOTA is hopeful that the Medicare medical directors will revise the PMD policies and recognize that occupational 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 consistently advocating to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services about this issue since the draft coverage policies were issued in the fall 2005.