Senate Bill (SB) 397 compels Medicaid to provide reimbursement for specialized wheelchairs for children who live in a nursing facility. Many children in these facilities require specialized and custom wheelchairs which are subject to normal wear and tear and need to be replaced.
One of the current qualifications for reimbursement under Medicaid is that the child can be rehabilitated. Due to their disability, many children living in nursing facilities cannot be.
“The way the state has handled this situation is backwards,” said Rep. Eberhart. “If a child cannot be rehabilitated, that means they will have to deal with their condition for the rest of their life. They need specialized equipment even more, yet Medicaid has been denying that to them. This solves that problem and gives them the help they need and deserve.”
Specialized wheelchairs can cost up to $4,000 - $5,000. If nursing facilities cannot be reimbursed, they often cannot afford to purchase the specialized wheelchairs, leaving the children with no choice but to utilize used medical equipment.
Shelbyville is home to one of three nursing home facilities in the state that serve the needs of children with severe disabilities. Especially Kidz has been serving the Shelbyville community since 1973.
SB 397 will now go to the Senate for concurrence and final approval.