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Signed July 30, 2015 | Effective October 1, 2015 through October 1, 2018
In the 21st Century, it is a true wonder the different ways we all communicate with each other. You might talk face-to-face or on the phone, email, text, or use social media to type or send a photo all before you’ve even gotten out of bed! For people with physical disabilities who need assistive technology to generate speech, the need to communicate via these modes is just as important.
Within the last two years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) narrowed its coverage of speech generating devices (SGDs) for Medicare members, but it more recently proposed a new policy for speech-generating devices that expands the definition of speech to include text messaging, email, and phone capabilities.
Two issues, however, that are not addressed in the new policy include:
On July 30, 2015 a separate bill called the Steve Gleason Act was signed into effect and eliminates the 13-month, capped rental period! The act also clarifies that eye-tracking technology is covered durable medical equipment for people who rely on this method to operate SGDs. These amendments are effective beginning October 1, 2015 through October 1, 2018. These changes will hugely impact those Medicare recipients who need SGDs to communicate as well as the communication partners with which they interact!