Mark E. SmithOver the years, I’ve written about countless innovative products in this column, mostly in the mobility realm. However, right around the time I started this column in 2007, mobility funding began getting slashed. Year after year, funding has decreased or codes have changed, making it more difficult to get the mobility products we need. In fact, at this writing, we’re on pins and needles at year’s end waiting to see if Congress rescinds Medicare’s scheduled Jan. 1, 2016, funding cuts that may affect 171 complex rehab manual and power chair components.

However, as with funding cuts in recent years — and yes, we arguably live in a tougher time than ever when it comes to access to mobility funding — all is not without hope. In fact, by understanding basic funding policy, debunking funding mythology and using self-advocacy, you’ll be amazed at how many presumed funding denials become possible funding approvals.

Debunking the ‘Medicare-Rules-All’ Myth
Ask most people who are familiar with mobility funding, and they’ll tell you how omnipotent and restrictive Medicare is: Medicare sets mobility funding policy; they only fund mobility for in the home; and they don’t fund features like power elevating seats. We’ve all heard and been told this, right?

Here’s the problem with that line of thinking. For most complex rehab users, it doesn’t apply. With few exceptions, most complex rehab beneficiaries don’t have