In an attempt to cut back on cost, Medicare will no longer purchase group 2 standard power wheelchairs. These chairs will turn into rentals, so what this means is Medicare will rent the chair for a total of 13 months. If the chair has been rented for the maximum rental period the chair belongs to the patient.
Where they are looking to save is when an individual goes into the hospital for a long term stay, or checks into a skilled nursing facility or passes away before the 13 months end. If this occurs payment then stops on the chair and the vendor picks up their power chair.
Now this does not affect all power wheelchairs. Complex rehab power chairs, or group 3 bases, will still be considered a purchase item, and to qualify for one of these bases you would have to have either and traumatic injury resulting in paraplegia, or quadplegia, CVA with some residual impartment, progressive neurological disorders, congenital disorders, etc. ( Please contact for a complete list of qualifying conditions.)
So what does this mean to you? Vendors will have to restructure their service area's, and the product they provide as well. Most individuals that qualify for a group 2 power wheelchair will end up with a used piece of equipment. Dealers are responsible for providing clean, working equipment, and are held to certain standards by Medicare. The day of everyone receiving a new chair is over.
If you have questions please feel free to call a local provider, or if you wish to get involved write a local senator or congressman. If you are interested in finding out more about you may qualify or have any other questions, please feel free to contact American Seating & Mobility at (877)339-1234.