WASHINGTON, April 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A
survey of home medical equipment companies released today found
that many businesses providing power wheelchairs to Medicare
beneficiaries have made abrupt changes in their operations to
comply with new federal policies. But the regulatory changes
have made it difficult for some businesses to provide quality
products and service to Medicare patients.
The American Association for Homecare (AAHomecare) said more
than 125 businesses across the country were contacted for the
survey, providing the most extensive research to date on how
companies are adjusting to the federal mandates. These include the
controversial competitive bidding process for most home medical
equipment, replacing a first-month purchase option with a 13-month
rental program for power wheelchairs, as well as other factors,
such as extensive government audits and confusing guidelines for
documenting medical necessity for mobility assistance.
Many providers reported negative consequences ranging from
planning lay-offs, no longer offering power wheelchairs and going
out of business to the need to find additional warehouse space for
used equipment and struggles to perform repairs for some
Specifically, the survey found that:
- 65 percent said their ability to service Medicare beneficiaries
has been compromised
- 48 percent said their repair policy has changed
- 45 percent said the area in which they service patients has
- 28 percent said their level of staffing has been impacted.
“These companies are frustrated by government policies that are
creating obstacles to providing mobility assistance to Medicare
beneficiaries,” said Tyler Wilson, CEO and president of AAHomecare.
“Yet, many companies are making adjustments in their business
operations so that Medicare beneficiaries can continue to