CMS Proposes Seat Elevation Rule

On February 15, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its proposed decision on coverage for seat elevation technology, like iLevel. The proposed decision would allow coverage of seat elevation technology for individuals who perform weight bearing transfers. This means any person who uses a wheelchair and bears weight on their arms for an uneven transfer (such as transferring from a wheelchair to a bed that is higher) and anyone who bears weight on their legs for a sit-to-stand transfer would be eligible for coverage through Medicare. This is great news! This means that so many wheelchair users will have access to seat elevation technology!

What it Means for Other Wheelchair Users

Many power wheelchair users need seat elevation to complete ADLs

It is still unclear, however, what this means for people who do not perform weight bearing transfers, such as some people with quadriplegia, SMA, or ALS (among many other disabilities). We do not want to leave anyone behind. So, it is important for wheelchair users to advocate to expand the coverage so that no one is left behind, especially since so many wheelchair users can benefit from seat elevation technology, whether or not they can bear weight for transfers. 

What We Have Achieved for Seat Elevation

To be clear, the current proposed decision is still incredible news.  Wheelchair users have been advocating for YEARS for CMS to change the rules to allow for seat elevators to be covered by Medicare. You might remember that in August of 2022, CMS finally initiated an open comment period for a National Coverage Decision on whether or not Medicare should cover seat elevators. Over 3,500 people submitted comments in support of covering seat elevation technology.  Without the efforts of the Disability Community advocating for this issue, we would not have made such remarkable progress! 

CMS is now accepting comments again, specifically about the proposed rule to allow coverage for seat elevation for wheelchair users who perform weight bearing transferring. You can read the full proposed rule and submit a comment here

Check back here in the coming weeks for more information about this proposed rule! 

About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum RehabĀ® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.

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