E2SHB 1445

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 178 L 13

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning complex rehabilitation technology products.

Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services (originally sponsored by Representatives Cody, Green, Jinkins and Morrell).

House Committee on Health Care & Wellness

House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Health & Human Services

Senate Committee on Health Care

Senate Committee on Ways & Means


Durable medical equipment, which is considered an optional service for state Medicaid programs, is currently covered in Washington. Durable medical equipment is defined as equipment that: (1) can withstand repeated use; (2) is primarily and customarily used to serve a medical purpose; (3) is generally not useful to a person in the absence of an illness or injury; and (4) is appropriate for use in the client's residence.

Wheelchairs are considered durable medical equipment under the Medicaid program. There are several different categories of wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs are nonmotorized and capable of being independently propelled. Manual wheelchairs may be classified as standard, lightweight, high-strength lightweight, hemi, pediatric, recliner, tilt-in-space, heavy duty, rigid, custom heavy-duty, and custom manufactured specialty-built. Power wheelchairs are motorized wheelchairs that can be independently driven by a client. Power wheelchairs may be classified as pediatric, noncustomized power, or customized power.


The Health Care Authority (Authority) is directed to establish a separate recognition for individually configured, complex rehabilitation technology products and services for complex needs patients in the Medical Assistance program. The separate recognition must establish a budget and services category that is distinct from other categories, such as durable medical equipment. In addition, the Authority must establish standards to purchase complex rehabilitation technology products only from qualified complex rehabilitation technology suppliers.

"Complex needs patients" is defined as individuals with a diagnosis or medical condition that results in significant physical or functional needs and capacities. The term does not negate requirements that individuals meet medical necessity requirements to qualify for complex rehabilitation products.

"Complex rehabilitation technology" is defined as wheelchairs and seating systems defined by Medicare as durable medical equipment that are specially configured to meet the specific medical, physical, and functional needs of individuals. Complex rehabilitation technology is primarily used to serve a medical purpose and requires patient evaluations and fitting services to establish the appropriate design, configuration, and use of the equipment.

"Qualified complex rehabilitation technology supplier" means an entity that: (1) is accredited as a supplier of complex rehabilitation technology; (2) meets Medicare standards for durable medical equipment suppliers; (3) employs at least one complex rehabilitation technology professional at each site who is physically present to assess patient needs and assist in product selection and training; and (4) provides service and repairs for the products that it sells, as well as information about receiving service and repair.

Votes on Final Passage:







(Senate amended)




(House concurred)


January 1, 2014