By Don Nelson
You see them advertised on television. You can use one at the grocery store. But, is a motorized wheelchair or scooter the best mobility device for you? Not always.
“I got that thing three years ago, but I can’t take it anywhere. It’s too big for my car.” “It is too big for my house and not portable enough to take anywhere.” These are just a few of the statements we hear from people when they call or stop by after having a motorized wheelchair “dropped off” at their home by a disinterested supplier.
When evaluating a patient for a mobility device it is important for both parties to discuss all the needs of the patient as well as the intended use of the equipment. Sure, Medicare requires that its beneficiaries require a manual or power wheelchair for use in their home before Medicare will consider payment. But, it is essential to remember that home is not the only place the mobility device may be used. A motorized wheelchair or scooter may be the only way a patient can be independent with their mobility-related aids to daily living (MRALDs), so a manual wheelchair may not be an option. The patient should be informed regarding the requirements to transport the motorized device, and that Medicare will not pay for a vehicle lift, manual wheelchair or transport chair for use outside the home.
There are lots of great carriers and lifts for motorized wheelchairs and scooters, but the vehicles these items would be installed in or behind are not always compatible with the mobility device that is being provided. More often than not, the power wheelchair or scooter is over the recommended safe maximum weight rating to be transported behind the vehicle using a receiver hitch.
Here at Choice Medical Equipment we strive to inform our customers of all the options available to them for their mobility needs and to take into account each person’s specific mobility requirement, existing equipment/vehicle, and budgetary constraints.
Author Don Nelson owns Choice Medical Equipment