Monday, August 25, 2014
I was hoping to have written this post last week, so that you might have more time to help out, but life got in the way! This is a VERY important post, especially to those of you who rely on Medicare to secure AAC devices. Specifically this is related to patients with ALS, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Rett Syndrome,spinal cord injuries, spinal muscular atrophy and other impairments and their ability to retain and receive Speech Generation Devices (SGD).
As of September 1, Medicare will be changing the rules and will not allow patients to receive this devices to "unlock" them. Thereby, denying individuals the ability to communicate with their families and other individuals via email, text, video chat, etc... Even though the unlock fee is not paid by Medicare, they will no longer allow individuals to purchase devices that this could be done on.
Medicare has also been denying Eye Gaze devices for those individuals whose only means of access if via an eye gaze system. Many of these cases have 2 medical professionals certifying the need for an eye gaze system and it is still denied. The backlog of appeals is years long and many patients are being denied the ability to communicate.
Please take a moment and go to this website - Center for Medical Advocacy, fill in your zip code, and the short form that follows to contact your representatives and urge them to sign a petition to stop these rule changes! It takes just 2-3 minutes. You only have until August 27, so please do it right away!