October 24, 2006
Secretary Michael Leavitt
The US Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Senator DeWine:
The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) National Task Force on Public Awareness has reviewed the Local Coverage Determinations (LCD) policy as it relates to powered mobility devices, which is scheduled to become effective November 15, 2006. We urge you to advocate a delay in the implementation of this policy.
Our task force comprises people with progressive neuromuscular diseases who advise MDA on issues of importance to those the Association serves. As active adult professionals who utilize powered mobility equipment, we have serious concerns about the definitions, determinations and limitations of the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policy and fee schedule. Therefore, the Task Force respectfully urges that CMS postpone implementation of the policy in order to re-assess the functional qualifications of persons eligible for complex mobility equipment, taking into consideration the unique needs of persons with progressive disorders.
Please encourage CMS to postpone implementation of the proposed LCD policy and fee schedule. We further urge CMS to reconvene the Technical Expert panel in order to receive feedback on the proposed changes and to develop a clearly defined, medically based powered mobility device policy that is responsive to the functional needs of those affected by progressive, degenerative neuromuscular diseases.
Thank you for time and attention to this critical issue.
William Altaffer, Esq
Chris Rosa, Ph.D.