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Thread: Medicare and Wheelchair

  1. #1

    Unhappy Medicare and Wheelchair

    C-7 incomplete and I have a motorized chair that was purchased through Medicare 2 and a half years ago, now with all the changes to Medicare there is such a wait for repairs which is much longer than usual. I asked the vendor if they could cancel and I go to another vendor and was told since my chair was purchased through Medicare no one would touch it.

    Has anyone had heard this before? Or were they stopping me from going to another vendor.


    Cheryl
    C-7 incomplete Since 2004

  2. #2
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    I think the problem is that DME's do not cover their costs enough for repairs, but are required to provide the service if they provide the chairs. It can't hurt to contact some other DMEs and see if they can help, just don't cancel the other appointment until they have already fixed it.

    I don't know if this helps, but here is some information about DME Repairs and Replacements.

    I think these are the important points:

    Medicare allows for the repair and replacement of beneficiary-owned items by any Medicare-enrolled supplier. Repairs to medically necessary, beneficiary-owned equipment are covered when necessary to make the equipment serviceable or when non-routine maintenance is performed by authorized technicians per manufacturer recommendations. Labor to repair equipment is not subject to competitive bidding and will be paid according to Medicare’s general payment rules.

    Beneficiary-owned competitively bid items that are replaced, rather than repaired, must be furnished by contract suppliers when beneficiaries obtain these items in a CBA.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

  3. #3
    Thank You elarson for the information. It kind of sucks that we have to wait so long but I will look into other DME'S though.
    C-7 incomplete Since 2004

  4. #4
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
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    Good luck Chrl. Although I don't live in the US, I am from there, and may want to return some day with my husband who uses a chair. I try to keep up with things, and also in other countries, because I see many of them going downhill for equipment and want to be ready to fight it.

    From what I can see in the US, competitive bidding has really hurt a lot for access to equipment and services for the people who need it most. I understand what the idea was about, to cut down on people asking for things that some really did not need, but it hurt the people who really need it.

    On that, I think they have a pretty good model here in the Netherlands, but unfortunately they will probably start doing it more like the US soon. As they say, when the US sneezes, Europe get's a cold...
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

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