Policy Analysis on Power Standing Systems
This peer-reviewed journal article was written in reflection on the Clinician Task Force’s engagement in the NCD Reconsideration Request for Mobility Assistive Equipment. This manuscript analyzes the CMS coverage decision on power standing systems and options for change from an ethical, holistic perspective.
Power wheelchairs provide people with mobility disabilities opportunities for independence in mobility and repositioning themselves. However, current power wheelchair power options covered by Medicare limit the person to a horizontal plane. In the home, access to the vertical plane is also required for mobility related activities of daily living. Power standing systems on power wheelchairs are one option for providing access to the vertical environment, although currently these systems are not covered by Medicare. Power standing systems also aid in medical management and in preventing common comorbidities associated with chronic neurological and congenital healthcare conditions. Therefore, a legal group led an interdisciplinary effort to change Medicare policy on power standing systems. A policy analysis using Bardach’s Eightfold policy framework was conducted to analyze a clinical groups’ action within this interdisciplinary team. The clinical team considered three viable options to address the problem and evaluated these options against five criteria. Ultimately, a national coverage determination reconsideration would provide a needed opportunity for the coverage of power standing systems. Suggested coverage criteria for power standing systems, based on existing literature and expert clinical experience, are proposed.