Since 1986, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has been a passionate educator and advocate, working to ensure access to Medicare and quality health care. In difficult times, we need your help to be the voice for those people who have nobody to speak for them.
On April 29, 2015 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed revisions to a National Coverage Determination for Speech Generating Devices, which acknowledge that this technology has a vital impact on more than just "speech," and will allow coverage for a much broader array of communication.
From the CMS Proposed Decision Memo:
"…Since 2001, the technology of devices that generate speech and the ways in which the devices are used by patients to meet their medical needs has changed significantly. For example, patients now use speech devices to generate text and email messages for the purpose of communicating with their caregivers and physicians. Therefore, in light of the changes in technology and use of devices that generate speech, we are internally generating a reconsideration of this NCD to address coverage of devices that generate speech as well as other forms of communication."
We thank CMS – and all of you – who took action to make these proposed revisions possible, but there is more to do – now Congress needs to act!
The Steve Gleason Act of 2015 would improve access to Medicare coverage of eye tracking and gaze interaction accessories for Speech Generating Devices, and remove the rental cap that prevents SGD users from taking their communication devices into care settings such as long term care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities or hospice.
The Act has already passed the Senate. We need the House of Representatives to stand up for people with disabilities and pass this legislation now.
We Need Your SGD Stories!
Contact us at SGD@MedicareAdvocacy.org todayif you or someone you know:
- Experienced problems keeping their SGD since capped rental payments went into effect.
- Experienced problems getting or keeping non-speech communication functions on their SGD in 2014.
- Experienced problems getting or keeping environmental control functions on their SGD in 2014.
- Was denied eye-tracking, or other SGD attachments by CMS in 2013 or 2014.
- Tell Your Senators and Representatives to Protect Medicare Advantage Enrollees – Support the Medicare Advantage Bill of Rights Act (HR 4998/ S 2552).
- Tell your Senators and Representatives to end Observation Status – Support the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2013 (H.R. 1179/S.569).
- Tell your Senators and Representatives Not to Forget the Neediest Medicare Beneficiaries – Make the QI Program Permanent
- Print a PDF handout on real solutions to preserve Medicare and share it with others
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- Use our Self-Help Packets.