Low-vision rehab to get coverage during project

April 1, 2006

Washington, DC?The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will expand its coverage of vision rehabilitation services in a 5-year demonstration project scheduled to start this month.

Washington, DC-The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will expand its coverage of vision rehabilitation services in a 5-year demonstration project scheduled to start this month.

The project, sponsored by Sen. John Sununu (R-NH), will take place in six areas: Atlanta, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York City, North Carolina, and Washington state.

The goal is to provide CMS with information on the feasibility of standardized national Medicare coverage of vision rehabilitation by an expanded group of authorized providers. Although Medicare currently covers these services when provided by certain Medicare-qualified therapists, the project will include coverage for services by certified low-vision therapists, orientation and mobility specialists, rehabilitation teachers, and occupational therapists. Under the plan, the supervising physician will no longer have to be on the premises during therapy.