Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 9:00am
The deadline for submitting comments has passed. The information below is provided for background purposes.
CMS (Medicare) is currently reconsidering its National Coverage Decision (NCD) for Speech Generating Devices (SGDs). As part of that process, CMS will allow interested members of the public to submit comments about future Medicare SGD coverage until December 6, 2014. An ad hoc group of AAC clinicians and others have developed an informational webpage to help stakeholders submit comments. The effort is supported by USAAC. Here is the link:
RESNA is a signatory on a Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities letter that supports:
• Removing language regarding disqualifying characteristics of SGDs
• Recognizing device access technologies, including eyegaze, as essential and medical necessary accessories for those with limited to no mobility
• Allowing patients to unlock their devices and upgrade at their own expense to allow other forms of communication, such as e-mail
• Maintain coverage of devices that include features that allow increased functionality and operation, i.e. Bluetooth and infrared
• Update codes to reflect today’s technologies
• Maintain the option for coverage of either a dedicated SGD or SGD software, depending on the alternative that is appropriate and medically necessary for the beneficiary
RESNA signed on to a comment letter submitted by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities. The letter also urges CMS to exempt SGDs from the capped rental rule, arguing that it is a major barrier to access. Please visit the Government Relations section of this website for more information, or view the letter here.
This is an important issue to many, and CMS needs to hear from the community. RESNA urges assistive technology professionals who work in AAC to consider submitting comments by December 6.