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Thread: Power chair and Medicare/Medicaid

  1. #1

    Power chair and Medicare/Medicaid

    I'm finally having to get a power chair to help me out some since i have this ulnar nerve entrapment in my left elbow. My Tilite Aero-Z is still going strong and i will be using it a lot.

    Has anybody on here with Medicare/Medicaid gotten a power chair lately? I'm wanting to know what brands and models they will pay for these days.

    I'm used to picking and specking out my own chairs. I've been doing it 14 years. I don't want to just take whatever the DME wants to give me.

    Any ideas on good chairs with tilt would be greatly appreciated. I don't know anything in the power chair game.

  2. #2
    For Medicare you will have to have a power chair & prescription done by someone with RESNA certification for this. They write up the medical letter of justification for the chair and all features which you physician must also sign. This does NOT guarantee they will pay for all features though. Best to not do this with a DME who is certified, but with someone (PT or OT) who can get you demos in several chairs none of which they personally sell. For my mother's last chair (tilt-in-space, power recline & leg rests, seat elevation) with a Permobil 300C, that came to $32,000 of which Medicare paid $12,000, & we paid the rest. She was not on Medicaid.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Have you considered the ZX1, designed by a quad and manufactured by Spinergy? Heard that Medicare may purchase it along with a new rigid chair (to make sure it fits the chair). You can google the ZX1 to check it out. It's a small "scooter" that fits onto the axle between the two rear wheels of the everyday, rigid frame wheelchair, with joystick control. Easy to get in and out of. I have one and love it. Nice that I don't have to transfer into a power wheelchair seat when I go out.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by triumph View Post
    Have you considered the ZX1, designed by a quad and manufactured by Spinergy? Heard that Medicare may purchase it along with a new rigid chair (to make sure it fits the chair). You can google the ZX1 to check it out. It's a small "scooter" that fits onto the axle between the two rear wheels of the everyday, rigid frame wheelchair, with joystick control. Easy to get in and out of. I have one and love it. Nice that I don't have to transfer into a power wheelchair seat when I go out.
    triumph-my rigid Tilite Aero-Z is only 2 1/2 years old so i don't know if that would work right now. I've always liked the ZX1 though.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    For Medicare you will have to have a power chair & prescription done by someone with RESNA certification for this. They write up the medical letter of justification for the chair and all features which you physician must also sign. This does NOT guarantee they will pay for all features though. Best to not do this with a DME who is certified, but with someone (PT or OT) who can get you demos in several chairs none of which they personally sell. For my mother's last chair (tilt-in-space, power recline & leg rests, seat elevation) with a Permobil 300C, that came to $32,000 of which Medicare paid $12,000, & we paid the rest. She was not on Medicaid.

    (KLD)
    Thanks KLD. I think this DME is certified. I'm not gonna let them give me the runaround though. Like i said, i'm well knowledgeable on manual chairs just not so much on power. I'll see what they're offering next week and go from there i guess.

  6. #6
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    Rollin64, The power wheelchair peddlers and manufacturers are a nefarious breed in themselves. Now the "add on ZX1" is way overpriced for what you get. But it does have some merit where weight is concerned. I would like to encourage you to beg, borrow or steal a bunch of used Power wheelchairs. to try and use. I have existed with used old power chairs because I like to tinker with them. I change motors from one kind or type of chair to another, if you can try enough you will find that most power chairs are not programmed for maximum efficiency, or even practical use. But only with use and experience can you determine what you want. the larger diameter wheels are preferable. "I" do not like hard tired puncture proof tires, but low pressure tubeless tires and wheels custom installed are my choice. But I do this myself, I know of no factory that manufactures such an item. However, it is quite easy for any machinist to do it for you.

    Weak motors and controllers are another problem in today's powered wheelchairs, I am led to believe that cost is the cause with the motor issue. I also believe regulators like RESNA has a lot to do with many of these issues because they issue rules for every type of user, many who are in well above their heads, with a absolutely usable chair.

    Some Powered wheelchairs that retailed for 8 and 9 thousand dollars 6 or 6 years ago now are advertised for three or less thousand dollars today. However, the costs to medicare and insurances do not seem to have changed much. Talk about a double standard. Hmmmmmm

  7. #7
    They're bringing me a demo out Thursday. Me being c-6-7 and being in a manual chair for 14 years, i'm wondering should i get tilt in space or just get a regular straight power chair. With custom cushion and back of course.

    Any other c-6-7's out there use a power chair without tilt? I'm still gonna do weight shifts cause i'm used to it. I want the chair to be as compact as possible.

  8. #8
    Rollin it sounds like you may be still interested in using a manual chair, just a word of caution, once you get a power chair with medical coverage I have been told they NEVER cover cost for manual again

  9. #9
    Rollin, I think Medicare might pay for ZX-1 with your current chair. Medicare paid for my SmartDrive but my DME said it would have been easier if I had bought a compatible chair at the same time. Agree with Triumph, ZX-1 might be great for your needs.

  10. #10
    Rollin64:
    When I went through a lengthy medical crash I qualified for a Permobile. It was covered by Medicare except for the seat which one can power up and down. I paid for that portion myself thinking it would aid transfers. Turned out to be the best part of my power chair. Still have the chair for occasional/potential future use, but use manual wheelchair at home and ZX1 (self purchase) whenever I go out.
    Also, if you need to go out and about in power chair, have you considered your transport needs?

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