Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Medical Assistance Services
Board of Medical Assistance Services
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3/29/23  9:57 pm
Commenter: Karen Tefelski, VaACCSES

Assistive Technology Doesn't Reflect National Trends

Appendix C: Participant Services, C-1/C-3: Service Specification, Assistive Technology, Service Definition, 2nd paragraph, page 90

Needed assistive technology has been denied by DBHDS working from a narrow definition of assistive technology. DBHDS has justified their denials of requested assistive technology by determining the needed items are not medically necessary. The definition in the draft Application (for remedial or direct medical benefit) will perpetuate these narrow and harmful determinations. Congress reauthorized the AT Act in December, 2022 of the reauthorization in 2004 to update and modernize AT for people with disabilities. DMAS should follow federal trends towards the future, instead of further limiting the opportunities of people with disabilities to access services and to interact with a modern society. The draft application for this HCBS service is nearly identical to the State Plan criteria for medical equipment, with waiver recipients are already eligible to receive.

RECOMMENDATION:  Expand the definition to include the clearer assistive technology core service definition on page 177 of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), “Instructions, Technical Guide and Review Criteria” for 1915(c) waivers. The CMS definition focuses on functional abilities, not only medical needs. Medical benefit should remain a part of the definition as well.

CommentID: 215069