Research in Action – How NIDILRR-Funded Research and Development Shape Policy

On February 15th, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memo proposing that power seat elevation equipment on certain powered wheelchairs be covered under Medicare benefits as Durable Medical Equipment. The public is invited to comment on the proposal through March 17th. The proposal comes after significant research by CMS as well as public comments on the benefits of this type of equipment for people who use powered wheelchairs, including reducing shoulder injury and fall risk from transferring in and out of a chair. That research included significant contributions from several NIDILRR-funded centers and projects, which are cited throughout the memo. Studies, reports, and reviews from the NIDILRR-funded University of Pittsburgh Model Center on Spinal Cord Injury, the Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System, the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Spinal Cord Injury, the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Secondary Conditions in Spinal Cord Injury, and the fellowship on Enhanced Remote Data Logging for Electric Powered Wheelchairs were all cited to support the proposed change.

NIDILRR-funded research and development has provided the evidence base for several policies, guidelines, and regulations over the years:

These are just a few examples where NIDILRR-funded research and development have impacted policy, guidelines, and standards which support the full participation of people with disabilities in the community. In many cases, comments and research were submitted during public comment periods, like the one currently open for the power seat elevation coverage. We previously wrote about sharing both professional and lived experience in advocating for policy change in our Spotlight blog. Have you sent in public comments, contacted your policy makers, or participated in other advocacy efforts? Share your experience and tips in the comments below!

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1 Response to Research in Action – How NIDILRR-Funded Research and Development Shape Policy

  1. Pingback: Celebrate the Wheelchair Technology of Today and Tomorrow | Collection Spotlight from the National Rehabilitation Information Center

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