This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet
Appropriations Committee approves $1.1 bil. increase to NIH budget at Sept. 15 mark-up, bringing agency to $28.91 bil. for FY 2005. The Senate version represents an increase over a Sept. 9 House budget earmarking $28.51 bil. for NIH. The Senate bill echoes House recommendations that CMS develop a wheelchair coverage policy "firmly based on a functional standard" of what it means for a patient to be "non-ambulatory," including "beneficiaries who cannot perform their basic acts of daily living, toileting, food preparation and emergency egress." The Senate and House both note the cost-effectiveness of avoiding institutional care or hospitalization. At a Sept. 1 town meeting, CMS had proposed new payment codes to help combat power wheelchair fraud (1"The Gray Sheet" Sept. 6, 2004, p. 15)...
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